5 Tips for Electrical Safety (From a Certified Electrician)
Tip #1 – GFCI Outlet Near Water
Maybe you have heard this one already, but it’s always worth repeating as one of our tips for electrical safety! Always have GFCI protection where electricity is near water. “A GFCI outlet is the only thing standing between you and electric shock when near a damp area like a faucet. Since GFCI outlets were introduced in the 1970s, electrocutions have dropped 83 percent. These fast-reacting outlets sense when an electrical current is straying and immediately shut off electricity flow. “ Source
Tip #2 – Fuse Panel Advice
If you still have a fuse panel and not a breaker panel, do not replace the fuse with a larger fuse in order to stop blowing fuses. Blowing fuses is typically a sign of overloading (unless it’s a dead short). Fuses (and breakers) are what protect the wire not the appliance. If you put a fuse too large for the wires capacity, it becomes something similar to an incandescent light bulb without the bulb to protect the filament (heat source) from the combustible material (clothes, wood framing, nearby paper, etc). Almost all homes with fuses for a 120V circuit use a 15-amp fuse. We’ve come across many homes to replace their fuse panels who have 20-amps or even worse 30-amp fuses—major cause of electrical related house fires.
Tip #3 – Federal Pacific Panel is a Fire Hazard!
Federal Pacific panels have been labeled with being a fire hazard, but I like to say it is a safety concern. Read here
Tip #4 – Never Hire Uninsured or Unlicensed Electricians
Don’t rely on unlicensed or at the very least uninsured electricians to perform electrical work in your home. From installing a circuit to trouble shooting, they all are recipes for disaster. If your home catches fire and your insurance company determines you used an unlicensed electrician, they may simply push off the claim cost onto that electrician’s insurance. But, if no insurance exists, you will be footing the bill! It may seem something menial to have a cousin who can trouble shoot a tripping breaker; but, when they decide to resolve the issue by replacing the breaker with a larger one…read Note 2.
Tip #5 – Do Not Approach Down Wires!
Don’t eat yellow snow! No, that’s tip number six. Instead, if a tree knocks down your service, DO NOT approach the wires. They more than likely will be live. More so, you don’t know if the transformer took a hit and is putting out higher voltages than expected. If the ground is wet (or snow covered) and you are in close proximity of the wire which may be energizing that area, you can be electrocuted. Instead, contact first the electrical service provider. If they can’t get to you within a timely fashion (less than 4-hours) and the conditions above are similar, contact the fire department. Better to be extremely safe than sorry. Electrocution hazards do not give you any warning signs like flame or sparking!
If you have any questions for our certified professional electricians, give AC Electric a call today. After being in business for over two decades, we can surely tell you we have seen anything and nothing surprises us anymore. Let our 20+ years of experience be of benefit to you. Give us a call today!