We often take our electricity for granted. We don’t think about it too much unless there is a problem. Homeowners need to be proactive when it comes to maintenance. By taking a few easy steps, you can avoid hazards and help prevent or stop ongoing problems.
Connect Electric wants to share this electrical safety checklist to help you protect your home and family.
- Don’t Ignore Tripping Breakers – If you have breakers that trip often, this is a sign that something is wrong. Don’t ignore it. An electrician can inspect your wiring and breakers to determine the cause.
- All Circuits Must Be Grounded – All circuits must be properly grounded to ensure safety. You can use a multimeter to verify grounding.
- Only Use GFCI Outlets in Wet Areas – Any outlets that are in an area with a water source, like the kitchen or bathroom, must use a GFCI outlet. Newer homes should have these installed, however, older houses may not.
- Unplug Appliances Before Cleaning – Unplug appliances before you clean them. This will allow you to reach all areas without risking electrical shock. This is especially important when using water or liquids to clean.
- Cover Outlets in Homes with Children – Children may not realise the danger of electricity, so make sure you cover your outlets. This can be done with a separate outlet cover or by installing tamper-resistant outlets that have built-in shutters.
- Replace Wobbly Hardware or Plugs – If you notice outlets or switches that seem wobbly or stick out of the wall, or if you have plugs that are loose in the outlet, replace them. This can cause connection issues or even become a fire or shock hazard if the prongs are partially exposed.
- Be Mindful of Heat Sources – Keep all cables away from heat sources like space heaters or radiators. Do not arrange furniture on top of cords or run them under rugs. This type of setup increases the risk of electrical fire.
- Know the Signs of Bad Wiring – Know the signs of bad wiring so you can deal with the problem before it becomes dangerous. Outlets may feel warm to the touch, may make a buzzing sound, lights may flicker, or you may smell a burning odour. Turn off power and contact an electrician if you notice any of these signs.
- Use Proper Cables Outdoors – If you need power outdoors, make sure you use an extension cord rated for the job. Indoor cords are not as insulated as those made for outside use.
- Unplug Devices When Not in Use – Unplug as many devices as you can when not in use. This reduces fire hazards and will cut back on the amount of wasted electricity in your home.
Know When to Hire an Electrician
One of the most important things to remember is when you should hire an electrician. Some jobs require professional knowledge to handle safely. If you have questions or notice problems with wiring, Connect Electric is here to help. Let us know what’s going on and we’ll help you find a solution.