Electricity is one of the most essential conveniences in modern life, but it can also be dangerous if not used properly. Every year, people are injured or even killed by electrical accidents. And with the holiday season upon us, there are more chances for accidents to happen. Here are five electrical safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season.
1. Schedule a Professional Inspection
It is important to have a professional electrical inspection because it can detect potential problems before they become a safety hazard. An electrical inspector will check your home’s wiring to ensure it is up to code and safe for use. They will also look for hazards such as frayed wires or overloaded circuits. By catching these problems early, you can avoid costly and dangerous repairs down the road.
2. Install GFCIs
GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are devices that protect against electrical shocks. They should be installed in areas with a risk of shock, such as near water sources or in damp locations. GFCIs work by sensing when there is a difference in the current flowing through the hot and neutral wires. If there is a difference, the GFCI will trip and shut off the power before an electrical shock can occur.
3. Do not Overload Circuits
One of the most common causes of electrical fires is overloaded circuits. Overloading a circuit puts too much stress on the wiring, which can cause it to overheat and start a fire. To avoid this, be mindful of how many devices you have plugged into each circuit. If you are using multiple extension cords, make sure they are not overloaded as well. And never use a power strip that is not rated for the wattage of the devices you are plugging into it.
4. Be Careful with Holiday Lights
Holiday lights are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but they can also be a fire hazard if they are not used properly. Be sure to only use lights that are UL listed and marked “for indoor or outdoor use.” Also, inspect the lights before you put them up to ensure there are no frayed wires or damaged sockets.
5. Install a Surge Protector
Surges can occur for a variety of reasons, such as lightning strikes or power outages. When they happen, the sudden increase in voltage can damage or destroy sensitive electronic components. A whole-house surge protector will protect your entire home, while a point-of-use surge protector can be used for individual devices. By installing a surge protector, you can help prevent costly repairs or replacements.
Following these electrical safety tips can help keep your home safe this holiday season. If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your electrical system, contact Allstate Electric and Communications in Bentonville, AR for help with everything from code compliance upgrades to electrical inspections and repairs.