Posted on: Jul 11, 2019
Electricity is a cornerstone of modern living. It can be dangerous if not treated with proper respect. Let’s look at ten electrical safety tips every homeowner should know.
If you ever have to deal with electrical issues, always cut the power at the breaker box. Before you start work, test to make sure the outlet, fixture, or switch is shut off. Then plug something in, flip the switch, and use a tester. It will only take a few seconds to cut the power and test the circuit.
Never pour water on an electrical fire. Water contains sediment that conducts electricity. Pouring water into an electrical fire can cause a significant shock hazard for those trying to put the flames out. Have a fire extinguisher on hand that is rated to handle electrical fires instead.
Do you have an outlet with more than two things plugged into it? Most likely have an outlet strip with a number of things plugged into it, this is not a safe setup. Try to distribute small appliances and electronic devices to several outlets to avoid overwhelming the one. Alternatively, have an electrician add additional outlets at that location.
Once in a while, go around and feel the outlets in your home. They should all be cool to the touch. If you find a warm or hot outlet, shut the circuit off at the breaker box and call an electrician immediately. You don’t want to deal with this level of electrical issues.
If there is even a remote possibility that children will be in your home, be sure to install outlet covers. Spring-loaded covers that automatically shut when there’s nothing plugged in is the best option.
A flickering light often means the fixture or the circuit has loose wires somewhere. Or that the bulb has come loose and there isn’t a consistent flow of electricity. Tighten the bulb. If that doesn’t fix it, call an electrician.
According to the Electrical Safety Council International, arc faults cause more than 28,000 fires in U.S. homes every year, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Arc-fault circuit-interrupters help prevent these types of fires. Have an electrician install these in your home.
An extension cord should be a short-term solution when you need electricity in a spot where there’s no ready outlet. An extension cord should not be a permanent solution for anything. Either move the item closer to an outlet or have an additional outlet placed where you need the item.
A ground-fault circuit interrupter shuts off if it detects the current is being diverted due to a short circuit or insulation problem. This helps protect people from being shocked, and it prevents fires due to electrical faults. GFCI devices should be installed in bathrooms and kitchens.
It’s so tempting to try to DIY various problems around the home. When it comes to electricity, you should leave it to the professionals. Improperly installed wiring can cause dangerous shocks as well as fires. Don’t put your family and property at risk. Let a licensed electrician deal with electrical issues.
If you need any help with your home’s electrical system, call Airco Service. We have been doing electrical work in Oklahoma homes since 1961.