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Electrical Safety

Electrical safety

Electrical safety is an essential part of homeownership.  When you work with electrical outlets and writing, you must always take the proper precautions and follow the correct procedures.   If you’re not careful, electricity can be deadly.  If you're not experienced in this sort of thing, the best course of action is to call a licensed electricians to perform repairs or upgrades. The most important part of doing any type of electrical work is to understand potential dangers you might be facing.  Electricity can cause serious injury and even death if you don’t handle it properly, while improper wiring and installation work can lead to fires.  So if you’re not confident in your ability to work with electricity, call someone who is.  If you do have some experience in this area, here are a few rules to follow  However, if you do like to do smaller jobs yourself, we have some basic tips on working with electricity in your home so that it’s safe (and beneficial) for you:

1 – Before you do any electrical work, whether it be wiring a new addition or fixing an outlet, make sure you flip the right breaker at the circuit box.  It seems basic, but many homeowners forget this important first step and wind up to the hospital after being shocked (literally and figuratively). 

2 - If you're doing electrical work, consider installing safety products like GFCI outlets and AFCIs in your home. GFCI outlets will cut power automatically if a ground fault occurs, meaning they will save your life if you end up on the receiving end of an electric current.  AFCIs are a safety measure that you install into the wiring itself. They detect arc faults that often cause electrical fires, and they’ll break up the circuit before a fire breaks out.   

3 – One electrical improvement you can make is replacing old outlets and switches. Loose outlets and old switches can lead to outlet fires. Replacing them with newer units is an easy way to prevent this sort of thing.  If you’ve already been through an outlet fire, and smoking or sparky outlets occur, shut off the power to the outlet immediately and call an electrician to see  If you've already experienced an outlet fire, sparks coming from an outlet, or smoking outlets, shut off the power to the outlet and call an electrician immediately to check if there’s more substantial damage that needs to be dealt with.

4 - Flipped breakers and blown fuses must be taken seriously.  These things happen when electrical circuits in your home become overloaded.  Overloaded circuits get hot, and from there, the heat can lead to fire, so circuit breakers are there to protect you. If your circuit breaker starts to cut off electricity to a section of your home, think about whether you have too many appliances or electrical draws in that area.  For example, if the kitchen is being cut off, you could solve it by taking an appliance like your toaster and moving it to a different circuit that isn’t being used quite as heavily.  If you can’t find the obvious cause, call an electrician as soon as possible.  He can help you figure out the problem before it becomes worse.  

5 – If you have children in your home, make sure you talk to them about the importance of electrical safety, and teach them to follow proper safety procedures so that they don’t become victims of electrical hazards.  Don’t let them play around outlets, and warn them against combining electricity and water.  You could also take extra precautions by installing child safety plugs in unused outlets, as well as by not keeping appliances like hair dryers and radios near sinks or bathtubs.  Children are curious about these things, and it only takes one drop to cause a fatal accident, so take this step! 

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