Twin City Heating and Air is celebrating the hiring of our new electrician with some blogs about electricity and electrical safety. Electricity is something we can’t live without in this day and age. It can, however, be very dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not taken. Outlets, extension cords, and plugs are some of the worst offenders when it comes to electrical problems. It’s estimated that fire departments across the U.S. respond to 34,00 fires involving electrical malfunctions.
Types of Outlets
If your home was built before 1965, there’s a good chance that your home has two pronged, ungrounded outlets. New homes typically have three pronged outlets that have a hot, neutral, and grounded wire. These outlets are much safer and don’t cause fire problems as frequently. Make sure you don’t use more than one appliance that heats at a time in each outlet receptacle. Examples are toasters, coffee makers, or even microwaves. Also, try to turn appliances off before unplugging them. If the device is still on or “hot,” it can result in an electrical arc that can create a fire hazard.
Extension Cord Safety
Many people don’t know that extension cords are supposed to be temporary and have many of them around the home. Instead of keeping the hazardous cords lying around, hire an electrician to add more circuits or outlets to your home. Damaged or loose extension cords increase risk of electrical shock or may cause arcing and overheating, all of which can lead to an electrical fire. This is also why an extension cord should never be run underneath a carpet.
When is time to call an electrician? It’s time if you have outlets or switches that are warm to the touch, fuses that continuously blow, or circuits that rip often. You should also be concerned if an appliance you are using develops a “rubbery smell” like they are burning, if lights are flickering, if lights burn unusually bright, or if bulbs continue to burn out more frequently than usual. Another sure sign is seeing sparks by your outlets. If that or anything above happens, give Twin City Heating, Air — and now Electric — a call.