There are many situations in your home that present an electrical hazard. Unfortunately, most homeowners are unaware of what creates an electrical risk and the potential dangers they represent. But the truth is that these things that might appear to be very minimal can result in a catastrophic fire and even loss of life. But by recognizing and eliminating these potential hazards, you will make your home a much safer place for you and your loved ones.
Safety standards and building materials change periodically. And in the last few decades, the electrical wiring used in homes across the country has changed significantly. Think about all of the high energy use appliances and electronics that are in your home. It only makes sense that your wiring needs to be beefed up to meet the electrical demands of all of the modern conveniences we have in our homes.
Old, damaged, or faulty wiring is the most serious hazard that many homes, especially older ones, face. These conditions lead to electrical fires, power surges, and arcs that will cause severe damage. If you do not know the age of your home’s electrical wiring or can’t recall the last inspection, call in the pros from Circuit Doctor for a safety check. Other reasons to call (703) 463-9866 for an emergency inspection include a burnt smell in your home, discolored outlets or lights that flicker and dim often. These are all signs that you need the assistance of a licensed electrician.
OVERLOADED OUTLETS AND POWER STRIPS
With all of the new technology finding its way into homes, it can be easy to overburden your electrical outlets. You might decide that a power strip is an excellent solution to power cords running every which way. But when you begin to max out the space on a power strip, you have likely exceeded the load limit of the outlet and are at risk of a fire.
The best way to know that you are asking too much of a single outlet is a constantly tripping breaker. If you need to reset the breaker for an outlet multiple times, consider removing some of the items that are plugged into the power strip. If the problem continues, call (703) 463-9866 to have a Circuit Doctor pro inspect the outlet, wiring, and breaker for that circuit.
Of course, your children are curious when they see you plugging your phone or tablet cord into an outlet. Kids love electronics and are naturally curious. So it is imperative that you protect your children from the hazards of electrical outlets. They quickly discover that there are many items around the house that are small enough to be forced into an outlet. And it only takes a moment for a child to slide a fork or other object into an outlet and receive a severe, life-threatening electrical shock.
The best solution for protecting small children is the use of outlet covers. Any plug that is not in use should have a childproof outlet cover installed. These items are easy to find in stores and are incredibly affordable. But the safety value is priceless.
TOO MUCH LIGHTBULB WATTAGE
Every light fixture has a rating or a certain amount of wattage that it is designed to handle safely. But if you choose to exceed that safe rating with a larger lightbulb, there could be severe issues. The rating for wattage is based on the size and capability of the fixture’s wiring. And when the bulb is too large for the wiring, the result can be a fire. You might also discover that the excessive wattage creates enough heat to melt parts of the light fixture and could potentially burn a person who is turning off the light. Always read the label on any light fixture before installing a new, larger wattage lightbulb.
All of the electrical hazards outlined above sound very simple to recognize and correct, which is true. Now that you know about the simple mistakes that could put your family and your home at risk, you can eliminate them. This easy process will make your home safer and provide you with added peace of mind. And should you discover a problem that you are not able to correct on your own, the team from Circuit Doctor is here 24/7 to help. Just call (703) 463-9866, and one of our licensed electricians can provide you with the answer to your question or visit your home to correct the problem.