Basic Things to Know about the Home Electrical System
Home electrical system should be effectively done to ensure that your family is safe at all times. Let us help you assess your electrical system and give you tips about the things that you must keep in mind.
Because electric power has been readily available almost everywhere for many decades, it is not surprising that the average person may not have healthy respect for electrical safety.
Between 2007 and 2011, the National Fire Protection Association estimated that there were about 47,820 fires in homes that were caused by either electrical failures or malfunction. These fires caused 1518 injuries, 455 deaths and $1.5 billion in damage.
The purpose of this article is to emphasize the need for the average homeowner to (a) learn basic things about the home electrical system and (b) take basic steps to practice electrical safety. Doing so will significantly minimize the likelihood of dealing with electrical accidents that could be fatal.
Improve Home Electrical System
The following two steps, when practiced by the homeowner, can significantly improve electrical safety in the home.
Step 1: Learn basic things about the home electrical system.
- Know the location of your main electrical panel, because it controls how electric power is distributed and delivered throughout the home. Know how to turn off the main breaker or switch, as well as the different circuit breakers (fuses). The breakers should be labelled to indicate how electric power is distributed to different areas in the home. If the breakers are not labelled, hire a licensed electrician to do so.
- Never work on any part of your electrical wiring unless you know what you are doing, and you have a licensed electrician to certify your work. Always shut off electric power to any part of your home that needs electrical work, and use a meter to verify that the power was indeed turned off.
- Avoid excessive use of extension cords. Make sure that each cord has adequate ampere rating before connecting it to an electrical device.
Step 2: Practice electrical safety and seek expert help when in doubt.
- Unless you are absolutely sure that you have the expertise to do any type of electrical work, you should engage the services of a licensed electrician.
- If it is necessary to fix an electrical problem in any part of the home, shut off power supply to that part of the home. Avoid wet areas near electric wiring such as in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room where electrical devices are in use.
- Rather than use many extension cords throughout the home, hire a licensed electrician to install additional power outlets. If an electric outlet becomes warm because many electrical devices are plugged into it, it is a bad sign. It probably indicates electric overloading that could cause fire.
- If you have toddlers and children in the home, protect your electrical outlets so that the children cannot play with them.
It is impractical to provide an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts that guarantee electric safety in the home. An excellent resource to guide you in protecting your home from electrical accidents is U.S. Electrical Services, Inc., reachable at https://usesi.com/