Top Electrical Safety Tips for New Homeowners
Few things in life feel better than getting the keys to your first home. Of course, once you have that home of your own, you have to take care of it, and that can be a big job. Fortunately, as a commercial and residential electrician in Springfield, MO, we have a lot of experience helping homeowners take care of all their electrical needs, from appliances to wiring and beyond.
To that end, we’ve assembled a list of some top tips to help keep you safe and keep your home’s electrical systems in good working order. Just remember, if you have questions or aren’t sure, give us a call. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Now, on with the list!
Don’t overload outlets. Most outlets only have room for two things to be plugged into them at a time. This is by design! Adding more devices and appliances by plugging in adapters and extension cords is a recipe for trouble. It can put a strain on the circuit, leading to a potential for damage or even fires. Also, when you’re deciding what to plug in where, make sure that each outlet only provides power to one device that produces heat, such as a coffee maker, toaster, hair dryer, waffle iron, and so on.
Replace or repair damaged electrical cords. Electrical cords aren’t something that you should use until they are worn out. Cords that become damaged or worn pose a serious risk of electric shock and fire hazards. Check your electrical cords – including power cords on appliances and other devices, as well as extension cords – for damage, wear, fraying, or cracking. If they show any signs of damage, they should be repaired or replaced right away!
Don’t run cords where they can be damaged. Electric cords aren’t meant to be stepped on or otherwise subjected to undue strain, which means that you should avoid running them under rugs or carpets. You especially shouldn’t run them through doors, windows, or other apertures. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from heat sources and anything that is highly flammable. If you’re finding that you regularly need to run extension cords in order to reach outlets, consult an electrician in Springfield, MO about adding additional outlets to your home.
Not using it? Unplug it. Appliances that are plugged in produce what’s known as “phantom drain,” a miniscule amount of energy consumption that can add up over time. Unplugging appliances and other devices that aren’t in use not only eliminates this “phantom drain,” it can also help to protect the items against hazards such as power surges. Of course, that only goes for appliances that can safely be unplugged. The fridge should stay plugged in, for example.
GFCI outlets are your friend. A ground fault occurs anytime an electrical current proceeds to ground along an unplanned path. This can be caused by anything from defective appliances to worn wire insulation, and it can result in an electrical shock or worse. Fortunately, you can prevent this by using an outlet with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. You’ve seen them before: They have little buttons in the middle, and often a small light. They cut the power if a ground fault is detected, protecting you and the circuit.
Call an electrician. Ultimately, anytime you have concerns or problems, you should call in the pros. Electricity is nothing to trifle with, and it can be downright dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You should especially make the call if you smell burning even when nothing appears to be on fire, if your lights are flickering, or if your circuits keep tripping. All these are warning signs of more serious problems.
As an electrician in Springfield, MO, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the same kind of treatment that we would give to friends and family. That’s why TruStar Electric has been serving the Springfield area for years, and we’re happy to serve you! If you have questions or concerns, just get in touch with us today!