Did you know that home electrical problems account for an estimated 51,000 fires, nearly 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries each year? Spring is the ideal time to take stock of your home’s wiring to ensure your family’s safety, and it’s also a time when rain, wind and dangerous storms can have detrimental effects on your home’s electrical system. Use this electrical safety checklist to ensure your house stays safe year-round.
Install Surge Protectors
Surge protectors safeguard valuable electronics against damage from voltage spikes, which can occur if lightning strikes a power line or high-energy appliances turn on or off. A standard surge protector passes an electrical current from the outlet to electronic devices plugged into the power strip. If a surge occurs, the protector diverts extra electricity into the outlet’s grounding wire. A whole-house surge arrestor protects all circuits in your home.
Change Worn Extension Cords
Extension cords aren’t meant for long-term use, which may result in electrical fires. Walk around your home and inspect all extension cords for wear and tear, including ground prongs coming loose and cracked insulation. If you see signs of damage, replace the cord immediately.
To prevent unnecessary wear and tear, don’t overload outlets. Use extension cords only in their intended indoor or outdoor locations, and protect cords by running them under rugs away from foot traffic and furniture.
It’s important that lightbulbs match the listed wattage for each light fixture to eliminate safety hazards and reduce the risk of fire. Each fixture typically lists the maximum wattage and type of bulb to use. If you use the incorrect wattage or bulb type, it can cause the fixture to overheat, leading to an electrical fire.
Think of how many appliances you have plugged into outlets in your home. Chances are it’s quite a few, many of which are in your kitchen. Regularly check appliances like your refrigerator and oven. In the kitchen, also check behind your refrigerator for dust or debris that may be affecting the efficiency of the coils, make sure small appliances aren’t near water sources and don’t overcrowd countertops where wires may rest near heat sources. Check all electrical wires for damage.
Other major appliances to inspect this spring include your washer and dryer and your HVAC system.
Schedule An Inspection
Beyond these at-home safety tips, it’s also important to schedule an inspection of your home’s electrical system by a qualified electrician. This ensures all electrical work is done to code and in good shape, which is especially important if you’ve recently moved, are performing home renovations or live in an older home.
This spring, take inventory of your home’s electrical system. Be on the lookout for problem signs like flickering or dimming lights, circuit breakers tripping or buzzing sounds. If you suspect an electrical problem, call our team of certified professionals at Clover Electric. Stay safe; contact our licensed electricians to address your home’s electricity issues today.