By Elisabeth Axiak
Just like your furnace or hot water heater, your electrical wiring needs to stay updated and taken care of. And, with the amount of electronics the average home uses on a daily basis, it’s especially important to make sure that you have all the tools to keep your home safe from electrical fires.
On board, but not sure where to start? That’s where we come in. Below are six tips to ensure your home is safe with updated electrical throughout.
1. Always Use a Pro.
While many people might fancy themselves a DIY electrician, it’s always best to use a professional. A trained electrician can ensure that repairs or updates are done correctly. Otherwise, a small repair could turn into a huge mess down the line.
2. Extension Cords Aren’t Meant for Long-Term Use
Did you know that extension cords are only supposed to be used as a short-term fix? Using them permanently can damage your cords, which in turn creates a huge fire hazard. If a plug is too far away, you can always hire a professional to help you install additional outlets.
Another extension cord tip: don’t place them under carpets. It may look nicer, but it also poses a big fire hazard for your home. The cord will heat up, and with a carpet or similar item preventing any circulation, things could go wrong quickly.
3. Light Up Your Life with LED Bulbs
There are many benefits to using LED lights – they are better insulated and don’t heat up, which lowers your risk for fire greatly. As well, they are more efficient, saving you money. We can’t think of a reason not to use LED!
4. Panel Politics
Making sure that you have an organized, covered, safe panel is extremely important when it comes to protecting your house from electrical damage. Have cords secured, and breakers labeled.
5. More on Breakers
Speaking of breakers, did you know that you can only have 12 items running through each breaker? And that all of your major appliances (think fridge, stove, microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer) must be on different breakers? Otherwise, they could be overburdened.
Do you have a breaker that always trips? Your electrical system is telling you something: that breaker is being overburdened. Review your breakers and make sure each one is not being strained.
6. Amps – How Many is Enough?
In general, homes today will have 100-200 amp service. If your house was built around the 1950’s, it might be only running on 60-amps, and if your home is newer, it will likely have closer to 200 amps. This is because, as we mentioned earlier, the amount of electronics the average home uses today is going through the roof. Make sure that your home has enough amps to service the entire home – and if you’re not sure, you can always talk to a licensed electrician.