Electrical Safety Tips

Monday, July 18, 2011
While rare, electrical fires can happen, and other similar problems caused by electricity-related issues. It is important to keep in mind some safety tips when considering electrical repairs and problems in your home.

When dealing with the electrical system itself, you should first make sure that all electrical outlets and switches are covered by faceplates and that these are in good condition and not cracked. All electrical outlets in bathrooms should also have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) that protect from the shocks that can be caused when water and electricity meet. It is important to call a professional electrician as well if your power goes out often or your lights flicker, smell bad, or make noise.

When dealing with lighting, it is also important to make sure that you use the right light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Look inside the light fixture to find out what light bulb size and what wattage is correct for the fixture, as using those with too high wattage could cause fuses to blow in your home.

Appliance safety is also important. The majority of problems that occur in regard to tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses are because of appliances that have malfunctions in their electrical capacities or because too many appliances are plugged into the same circuit. Appliances should be kept dry and away from water at all times – it is especially important to check for this in bathrooms and kitchens. Unplug any small appliances, like toaster ovens and coffee makers, when they are not being used to keep them safe as well. And check appliances and cords to see if they have labels from ETL or UL to make sure that they have been tested for safety.

As long as you are cognizant of the problems that could occur with electrical wiring, the majority are avoidable. Correcting a tripped circuit breaker is as easy as turning the circuit breaker completely off and then back on. Fuses are also fairly easy to replace as part of a do it yourself project. But, as mentioned, flickering lights or frayed wires may be an indication of a larger problem, and you should call a certified technician about it. Do some research. Depending on the issue and the area where you live, it might be better to go with an independent contractor instead of a larger company. And depending on the size and scope of the problem, you may want to choose a day that you have nothing planned instead of trying to have a shorter appointment.
Superior Electrical Staff 7/18/2011

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