Electrical Hazards You Shouldn't Avoid Fixing
You’re a savvy home owner. You do your research. You make sure your appliances, electronics, and HVAC system are in tip top shape. You check your fire alarms regularly and have a fire extinguisher handy. But when was the last time you had your electrical system checked for fire hazards? Electrical fires happen to even the most prepared homeowners. The smallest of frayed wires can cause a disastrous fire in your home. It’s National Electrical Safety Month and the perfect time to pay extra attention potential hazards in your home.
Are you familiar with the top electrical hazards in your home? While some may be preventable by you, others require the expertise of a professional electrician to diagnose and fix. Here's what you need to look out for:
1) Are your appliances trying to give you a warning?- Do you find that every time you blow dry your hair, you trip a circuit? Or maybe when you run your washing machine along with other appliance, you blow a fuse. Don't overlook these types of blatant signs. Unplug your appliances and have them, along with your electrical system inspected.
2) Know your Light Fixture’s Wattage Requirements- You may want to add more light to that dark and otherwise gloomy corner in your family room, but swapping a low wattage light bulb with a stronger one is not the answer. Every light fixture has a wattage requirement that should be followed. Did you know that most light fixtures have the wattage specifications printed right on the socket itself.? Be smart about the light bulbs you use. Higher wattage light bulbs can overheat the wires and start a fire.
3) Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GCFI's) are a must when outlets are present near water.- When an electronic device is plugged into a GFCI receptacle and comes in contact with water, the power is shut off immediately and helps prevent fires, electric shocks and even electrocution. Older homes may have been built during a time where GCFI receptacles were not a requirement. Make sure to have your receptacles changed out immediately by a licensed electrician. It's a quick and low cost fix!
4) Extension Cords are NOT Permanent- You can't deny that the invention of an electrical extensions cord makes life much easier, but using them on a permanent basis is a big No No! While electrical outlets are generally found on each wall in your home, sometimes they are just a few extra feet from that new electronic or light fixture you want to plug in. Your solution: have a licensed electrician install a wall outlet instead of using a temporary cord. Never cover extension cords with carpets, furniture or run them across traffic areas. These are potential fire hazards.
5) Dimming / Flickering Lights or Non-Functioning Outlets are not Something to Overlook!- Have you turned on your garbage disposal only to have your kitchen lights dim? Maybe when you dry your hair your bathroom lights flicker. What about that outlet that you know not to use because it doesn't work? Stop overlooking these "in your face" electrical hazard signs. Your electrical system is meant to provide a constant supply of electricity. Anything else is a sign of a problem that is best handled by a licensed electrician.
Electrical fires are more common than you would think. The Electrical Safety Foundation International has compiled an alarming list of electrical fire facts. As we move through May which is National Electrical Safety Month, take the small extra step to have your electrical system inspected for potential fire hazards. At Casteel Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical we will take Amazing Care of you® and your home! During the month of May, Electrical Home Safety Inspections are only $99! Call Casteel today at 770-565-5884 and schedule your in home evaluation today!