Electrical hazards range from the shocks you feel when you touch an outlet to the fires that start around the wiring in your walls. Not only do these issues lead to expensive repair bills, but they may cause severe damage to your loved ones or yourself. Now is a good time to look at ways to prevent common electrical hazards.
Throw Away Faulty Wires and Equipment
When you use a power tool, appliance, or anything else that uses electricity and has a faulty or damaged cord, you risk shocking yourself when you plug it into an outlet. While some shocks may jolt your system, bigger ones may leave nerve damage or induce a heart attack. Always check those items before you use them, and request a professional’s assistance to repair or replace their cords.
Add Grounded Outlets
A grounded outlet has three slots for power cords and cables rather than two. Inside the outlet is a grounding wire that runs to the breaker box, which then connects it to a rod outside. When a power surge strikes the outlet, the wire sends the excess electricity back to the wire and rod. This prevents shocks from reaching anyone nearby and damages to your electrical items and the outlet. If you have two-prong outlets, allow a professional to update your power sockets for your home’s protection.
Look and Smell for Problems
You will usually either smell or see a few common signs of electrical problems. The smells often include a burning odor that you cannot quite place, usually when there is damaged wiring and increased fire risk in the walls. A few things to look for are sparks when you plug in electrical items and dark marks on the walls, especially around your outlets. Those marks are soot, which comes from small fires in the walls. The sparks may indicate damaged electrical components or a short circuit. Call a certified electrician as soon as possible if you see or smell any of these tell-tale signs. They can walk you through tips to keep your family safe until they can inspect the wiring.
Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
Your electrical panel is one of the more important parts of your home. While your fuse box or circuit breaker sends power to different rooms and outlets, the panel reduces the risk of damage caused by power surges and failures. Tripped breakers are signs you need a new panel or a panel repair. If you have a fuse box, you may see fuses blowing more often than they should. These signs show that the panel can no longer meet your household’s electrical needs. Other symptoms to watch for include rusty or broken elements on the panel, warmth coming from it, burning odors nearby, and flickering lights.
Whether you need to upgrade your electrical panel or replace it, contact ESSCO Electric in Pasco, WA for fast and convenient help that keeps your family safe.