Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners
Performing routine maintenance is crucial to every homeowner since this ensures that his or her home is in good condition. Though you can enlist the help of a professional to do technical repairs, it always helps to know the common warning signs and possible fixes. After all, it is not every day that you will have a repairman visit your house to anticipate issues that may arise. As a homeowner, being aware of how to maintain different aspects of your home is key to keeping it orderly and safe.
When it comes to electrical work, it is often best to leave the work to an electrician for homeowners. However, knowing how to check on your electrical system allows you to look out for signs that there is something wrong so you can call a professional immediately. Having such knowledge will help you prevent accidents from happening, especially with electrical issues being a common cause of house fires, before the professionals arrive.
To help you keep your home safe, here are some tips to ensure proper electrical maintenance. You may have to learn a few new things, but it will all be worth it in the long run.
Before you get your hands on any wirings, outlets, or electrical parts, make sure you turn off your circuit or main power. If you are working on a specific area in your home, you can flip off its switch through the breaker to keep the electricity running in other parts. After doing this, try to test an appliance or electrical device and see if it receives any power. If it does, check back to see if you flipped the right switch. Otherwise, you can start inspecting since it means the power is turned off.
Learn About Your Electric Panel
Each home will have a main electric or breaker panel that supplies power to every area. As a homeowner, you have to familiarise yourself with its parts to diagnose possible problems. The breaker panel is usually found in the basement or garage and contains a main switch that controls the power in the whole house. Within the panel, you will find circuit breakers that control the flow of current in every outlet and prevent overloads from happening. The switch for each breaker is designed to break the circuit every time the current flow exceeds the safe level to prevent accidents from happening. If you notice the breakers tripping ever so frequently, contact an electrician to examine the problem.
Prepare a Contact
When in doubt, call an electrician for homeowners. Make sure you have a contact person ready as you do not want to delay any repairs or inspections. Find a nearby local company that specialises in electrical services, so you can be sure that someone can tend to you and get to your house as quickly as possible.
Have a Fire Extinguisher
As much as possible, you want to avoid electrical fires from happening, but as a safety precaution, it will help to have a fire extinguisher ready. Class C fire extinguishers, in particular, are the most effective against electrical problems since they help prevent electrical conduction. Naturally, make sure you know how to use these devices in case anything happens.
Promote Proper Habits
Do not plug in too many devices in a single outlet, and avoid using an extension cord too long and too frequently. If you find yourself doing the latter too much, it will be better to get a new outlet instead, so you can prevent octopus wiring. Additionally, consider installing ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in wet areas, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area since these can turn the power off immediately if something happens. Doing this can be potentially life-saving, especially since accidents can occur when water mixes with electricity.