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Tips To Help You Practice Electrical Safety This May!

3 Electrical Safety Tips To Live By

May is National Electrical Safety Month, which means it’s time to learn about common electrical hazards and how to avoid them. The stakes for electrical safety couldn’t be higher - every year in the U.S., hundreds of people are electrocuted in their homes, and there are nearly 50,000 electrical fires. Fortunately, people can typically avoid these tragic incidents with a little awareness and the implementation of a few good habits. 

This article will lay out three simple ways homeowners can improve their electrical safety and avoid common electrical problems.

Don’t Overload Outlets

outletsOne of the most common electrical hazards in homes and businesses is overloading circuits. This occurs when the amperage of the appliances and devices plugged into a given circuit exceeds that circuit’s amp capacity. This usually results in a tripped breaker or blown fuse, but it often causes appliances or wiring to overheat, which can start an electrical fire.

Circuit overloads can be prevented by spreading plug-in appliances across multiple outlets (on separate circuits) rather than overloading a single outlet. Attempting to plug as many devices as possible into power strips or surge protectors can also overload the circuit or the power strip itself, so it’s important to note the power strip's amp capacity and make sure the combined amperage of the devices doesn’t exceed it.

It’s also a good idea to unplug devices when they’re not in use. This will give the circuit a little more “breathing room” and even help save a little money by reducing the standby power being used.

Use the Correct Wattage

wattagesAnother major contributor to electrical fires and damaged appliances is using light bulbs with the wrong wattage. Much like an overloaded outlet, exceeding the recommended wattage of a lamp or light fixture can cause the fixture’s wiring to overheat. It can melt the wire casing, destroy the fixture, and start a fire if it gets hot enough.

To prevent this, homeowners can simply take note of the recommended wattage of a specific fixture (typically displayed on the bulb socket) and only use bulbs with the same wattage. The recommended wattage is essentially the maximum load capacity of the fixture, so it’s also okay to use bulbs with a lower wattage but never ones with a higher wattage. 

LED bulbs, for instance, have a much lower wattage than traditional incandescent bulbs but can be used in conventional fixtures, provided their actual wattage is lower than recommended. Homeowners can look for the “equivalent” light bulb rating to match their fixture, i.e., a 60-watt lamp should take an LED bulb marked “60-watt equivalent.”

Leave Electrical Work To the Pros

Every homeowner should avoid one more common electrical hazard, DIY electrical work. An outlet repair or light switch replacement may seem pretty straightforward. Still, even the simplest tasks can be extremely dangerous and carry plenty of opportunities for costly mistakes when it comes to electrical systems.

Aside from the risk of electric shock, an incorrectly installed component or miscalculation can lead to other hazards down the road, be it a short-circuit, overload, or fire. Professional electricians can not only perform repairs safely and correctly, but they also have the training and experience to recognize potential hazards or problems that a well-meaning amateur might miss. So if homeowners encounter an electrical issue or simply want an electrical inspection for a safer home, it’s always best to call a licensed professional!

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has over 30 years of experience providing the community in Jupiter, FL, with unbeatable service. They offer straightforward pricing, prompt arrival, 24/7 live answer, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for electrical services in Jupiter, FL.