After months or even years of searching, you’ve finally decided on a new home that suits your tastes and needs. Needless to say, there’s a lot to consider.
As you learn more about your new home, one area that should remain at the top of your list is your electrical system. The reason is that electrical hazards can cause house fires that can be devastating. In fact, electrical malfunctions contribute to four of five home fires every year. Maintaining a safe and efficient electrical environment can’t be stressed enough.
Being able to prevent potential hazards early on will keep you and your family safe. To help, Arnold Electrical Services outlines some of the most important electricity tips for new homeowners in the article below!
Avoid Overloading Outlets
One of the easiest ways to prevent electrical issues is practicing safe outlet use. To start, outlets put out only a certain amount of energy, so limiting the number of appliances you plug into the same outlet is essential.
Exactly how many devices you can plug into one outlet depends on the wattage of each device or appliance. But, as a rule of thumb, it’s safest to stick to a load of only 1,500 watts per outlet.
Why is this so important? Well, if you overload your outlets with too many high-wattage devices, you could cause a fire. This is not something to take lightly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, reports that overloaded outlets cause around 5,300 fires in American households every year.
Pro-tip: If you can’t rearrange your appliances to different outlets, consider installing new outlets. This will help relieve some of the stress on the original outlet.
Also, take the time to touch your outlet plates and feel if they are hot. A normal outlet should be cool or normal room temperature. If they aren’t, you could have a fire waiting to happen. Arnold Electric suggests having them checked by a professional electrician immediately.
Unplug Unused Appliances
Another easy electrical tip is to unplug an appliance that’s not in use. This prevents your appliances from overheating and prolongs their lifespans. Also, making a habit of unplugging all devices will protect them during a power shortage.
Pro-tip: Consider installing smart plugs. Smart plugs are one of the most affordable and easiest smart-home devices. They allow you to turn off almost any wired appliance with an on/off switch in your home.
There are also automated smart plugs that turn off all appliances with a simple tap on your phone. So, if you forget to turn something when leaving your home, you don’t have to make a trip back home. You can simply turn it off by an app in seconds!
Replace Damaged Cords
Another serious electrical risk to be aware of are damaged electrical cords. Not only can damaged cords cause a fire, but they can also cause electrocution. Take the time to check for any signs of fraying or cracking. If you notice any of these signs, the cord should be replaced immediately.
Also, make sure to never staple your cords into your walls or place them underneath a carpet or rug. You never want to expose the inside of a cord or cause them to overheat.
Pro-Tip: Only use certified extension cords listed by a recognized certification organization. One of these organization includes Underwriters Laboratories (“UL listed”). UL is globally recognized and accredited by the U.S.’s Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
There are no laws that require cord manufacturers to own certification to sell extension cords. However, companies that become certified anyway prove that their products are of quality. It also shows their products meet relevant, accepted safety standards.
Practice Safe Space Heater Use
According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, portable electric space heaters cause around 1,200 fires a year. So, once the cold season comes back around, make sure you use your space heater with caution. Keep it away from any flammable material such as curtains, clothing, bed sheets or papers. Only keep them on a flat, stable surface to prevent tipping.
Pro-tip: If your household has young children or small animals, then it might be better to remove space heaters altogether. If a space heater falls on its side, then its close contact with carpet or rugs could start a fire.
Contact Arnold Electrical Services!
Before you move into your new home, Arnold Electrical Services suggests contacting a trustworthy electrician to examine your electrical system. The last thing you want to deal with soon after moving in is a faulty light or dead outlet (or even worse, a fire!). For more tips or preventing electrical issues in your home, contact our crew today!