Electrical issues at home are responsible for about 51,000 fires every year, almost 500 deaths, and over 1,400 injuries annually. Summer is a good time to inspect your home’s electrical system as electrical usage increases significantly during the summer months.
The following is a checklist to get you started. For the best results, schedule an inspection of your home’s electrical system by a licensed electrician. If repairs are needed, the electrical work will then be professionally performed to code.
Regularly inspect major electrical appliances such as your oven and refrigerator by checking the condition of their electrical cords. Clean off the debris and dust behind a refrigerator because this will lower the efficiency of its coils. Small appliances like toasters should not be located close to water sources. Major appliances that should be also inspected are the HVAC system, washing machine, and dryer.
Extension cords are not intended for long-term use because electrical fires may result when the cords become faulty or worn out. Inspect every extension cord for wear and tear. Examine them closely for cracked insulation and loosened ground prongs. Damaged extension cords should be replaced immediately. Use them temporarily, and promote safely by not overloading outlets or running them where there is foot traffic.
Lightbulbs and Fixtures
Lightbulbs should match match the wattage of their light fixture to minimize the risk of fire. Typically a fixture will have a label noting its maximum wattage and the type of bulb that can be safely used. Using the improper bulb type or exceeding the wattage can result in a fixture overheating and starting a fire.
Safeguarding expensive electronics, surge protectors protect against damaging voltage spikes when lightning strikes or high-energy appliances are turned on or off. Standard surge protectors of power strips carry electricity from an outlet to the electronic devices that are plugged into it. In the event of a surge, a protector diverts excess electricity into the grounding wire of an outlet. Installing whole-house surge protection will safeguard every circuit in your home.
For more advice, you can also download the National Fire Protection Association handout: NFPA Electrical Safety Tips
Electrical Peace of Mind
Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.