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Important Electrical Safety Tips to Protect Your Family and Home

Did you know that May is Electrical Safety Month?

Electricity plays a vital role in just about every aspect of our lives. Think about it, from the lights overhead to the power used to run your major appliances, electrical wiring keeps life running around the clock. Which is why it can be so easy to take the electrical components in our lives for granted. Unfortunately, with all of the amazing things electricity can do, it is also an extremely dangerous force and it is important to keep an eye on your home’s electrical system for warning signs that something is wrong. Here are a few electrical safety tips to help protect your family and home:

1. Extension Cords 101

  • Before using an extension cord, inspected carefully for signs of damage, broken connectors, split or torn insulation, etc.
  • Damaged extensions should be tossed out, don’t try to repair and reuse them.
  • Extension cords should never be used as replacements for fixing structural wiring.
  • Be sure to attach ground fault interruption devices (GFIs) when using an extension cord.

2. Pay Close Attention to Your Breaker Box

Breakers don’t just trip for the fun of it. If your breakers are tripping frequently or trip immediately after being reset, this is a major warning sign that something could be seriously wrong. To avoid an electrical fire or another serious issue, it is best to call us at (314) 720-3580 to perform an electrical safety inspection on your breaker box.

Additionally, if your home still uses a fuse box, instead of a breaker box, it is time to consider updating your home’s wiring. Fuse boxes are out of date and typically much less safe than a modern breaker box. Plus, they are less energy efficient!

3. The Wobble Effect

Do you notice that your ceiling fan is slowly wobbling? This likely means that either the fan is installed on a box that isn’t meant to support the fan or that your fan is out of balance. Balancing the fan may require cutting the power and reinstalling the whole thing, be sure to check for loose, missing or otherwise damaged hardware and wiring. The box itself may also need to be replaced.

Electrical outlets or switches doing their own little wobbling? The device could be mounted incorrectly, or worse, the entire box could have become loose. It might be necessary to cut the power and remove the faceplate, in order to re-tighten the mounting screws. Remember our team is here to help you if you need us!

4. Warm to the Touch

If the faceplate of your electrical outlet is warm, this could mean one of three things: your wiring is undersized, you have a loose electrical splice or there is an excessively large electrical load attached to that outlet. The only way to find out the cause is to cut the power to the outlet and do some investigation. Melted connections, loose wiring or splice, burned insulation, these items need to be fixed to avoid a more dangerous situation.

5. Shocking Fridge

If you have a fridge, either full-sized or mini, that gives you a little shock every now and then, it’s time to replace that fridge. These shocks are not normal and indicate that your fridge has a small amount of current leaking, often due to worn-out insulation on the internal wires. This is especially dangerous if your fridge happens to sit on a concrete floor and a damp basement or garage, only makes things worse. Do yourself and your family a favor and replace the unit.

6. Investigate the Cause Behind That Tripping GFCI

Like with your breaker box, GFCI outlets that repeatedly trip, do so for a reason. The trick is discovering if it’s a faulty appliance or a more serious electrical issue. You can test this by moving the appliance to another GFCI, if this outlet trips as well, this is a good indication that the appliance itself is to blame. However, if the appliance works fine in the new outlet, then it’s likely that there is an electrical issue with the previous outlet. In either case, it can be a good idea to have one of our Electricians out to your home to investigate the issue for you.

Electricity is unquestionably dangerous and if you have any electrical safety concerns, it is best to consult a professional. Our Licensed Electricians are here to assist you and help keep your family and home safe. Call us at (314) 720-3580 for all of your electrical needs.

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