September 21, 2011
Since the advent of electricity, we have enjoyed the comfort and convenience it brings to our daily lives.
However, if you are not careful, electricity can be very dangerous. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common hazards and oversights we see and what can be done to avoid them.
- Exposed Extension Cords - Keep extension cords covered and out of the way of foot traffic. Exposed cords can be a tripping hazard, and if you have pets, quite dangerous if chewed on. It’s also important to make sure the extension cords you are using are in good condition. Do not change electric shock or fire by using cords with frays, cracks, or major kinks.
- Not Following Usage Guidelines – Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using electrical appliances.
- Using the Wrong Light Bulb – Obey the wattage requirements listed on lamps and fixtures. Using a light bulb with too many watts can cause the element to overheat and possibly start a fire. Always screw the light bulb into the socket tightly to avoid sparks or shorts.
- Uncovered Outlets – Especially if you have young children, it’s important to keep outlets covered if they are not in use – either with outlet plugs or tamper resistant receptacles. Plugs are a great inexpensive solution but can be easily removed if you have a determined child. Tamper resistant outlets are safer than plugs because they require simultaneous contact with both prongs of a plug to access any electricity. Regardless of whether you have children or not, all outlets should have secured faceplates.
- Be prepared – In the event of a power outage, have a battery-operated radio, and flashlights on hand. It is also recommended to have a backup generator ready for use. Especially if the power outage lasts an extended period of time, the generator will allow you to continue operating appliances like your refrigerator, HVAC, and lighting. If you have someone in your home who relies on a breathing machine, a generator is especially important.
- Use Smoke Detectors – Make sure smoke detectors are installed outside sleeping areas. Even if your smoke detector is hard wired, they need to have a reliable battery backup. Be sure to replace the batteries in the smoke detector at least once a year.
- Ignoring Inconsistencies – Be observant; if you notice a breaker that regularly trips, sparks coming out of an outlet or switch, or the smell of something burning contact a professional immediately. What might be a frustrating inconvenience could actually be a sign of a very dangerous electrical problem if left uncorrected.
- Not calling an expert – While in many instances, home improvements and repairs can be done by the homeowner with relative ease and little experience, electrical work is very different. Never attempt to make electrical improvements, repairs or do any rewiring without proper certification and experience. These tasks are safest when left to a trained professional.
Keep your family safe. Any time you suspect an electrical problem at your home, contact a professional. Energy Today’s electricians are all extensively trained and experienced to address all your indoor and outdoor electrical needs. We follow all local codes and regulations so your job is always done right and safely.
Contact us today to schedule a repair or service.
Posted in: Tips