Home Electrical Safety Tips
Petersen's Electrical Services in Calgary wants you and your family to be safe from injury caused by electrical problems in your house. Electric problems cause thousands of fires and serious injuries every year, so we've compiled this list of electrical safety tips to give you some good advice for protecting your home and family. These are simple things you can do yourself, but you should always call on a certified electrician to repair or replace the wiring in your home.
The first tip is to be proactive when it comes to electrical problems. If you frequently have to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker, you should be sure to find out what's causing the problem. If you can't tell, have your home inspected by a certified electrician. Blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers are caused by overloads. That means that either you've got too many appliances connected to that circuit or there's a potentially dangerous short circuit somewhere. This is not a problem you can "live with".
Everybody knows that water and electricity are a dangerous combination. So make sure all of the outlets in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors (GFCI), which stop the flow of electricity immediately when there's a serious problem. When water creates a direct path between the electrical current and the ground, there is a dangerous surge in the flow of electricity. While a fuse or a circuit breaker will be tripped by such a surge, a person can be seriously injured or even killed before that happens. A GFCI outlet is designed to stop the flow of electricity much faster in that event in order to prevent fire or injury.
Make a habit of checking the cords and plugs on your electric appliances for signs of wear in the insulation. Never allow furniture to sit on electric cords. Pay special attention to cords that run behind furniture or in places where pets like to hide or play. Pets, especially cats, often chew on cords and if the cord is hidden behind a chair or couch, you might not see the frayed insulation. So peek behind and underneath the furniture when you do your housecleaning and other chores so you can spot any problems before they cause trouble.
Use the right wattage lightbulbs in all fixtures. Even though the circuit might be able to handle the load, the lamp's wiring may not be able to. There's also a threat of fire if the lamp has a flammable lampshade in close proximity to a bulb that is hotter than the lamp is designed to use. And if you're using the new Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs (CFLs), be sure to dispose of the old bulb properly at your local recycling center. They contain mercury, which is an environmental hazard, so don't throw them in the garbage.
If you have an older home, have an electrician install grounded outlets in those places where you often use heavy-duty appliances that have 3-prong grounded plugs. That extra bit of protection is important when you're using appliances like refrigerators, televisions, stereos, and desktop computers because they draw enough current that any overloads may cause a fire. And do use a surge protector for your sensitive electronic devices like computers, printers, and televisions. Lightning is the most widely-known cause of surges, of course, but there are many other potential causes as well. That small investment can easily pay for itself. If you live in an area that is prone to thunderstorms, consider getting a surge protector that also protects telephone lines and cable television lines.
Weather and other natural disasters are a common cause of electrical problems and injuries. If you had to evacuate your home because of flooding, be sure that the electricity and natural gas have been disconnected before attempting to re-enter the house. Any standing water is liable to be lethal in that situation, so take this simple precaution.
We hope you learned something here or that we have at least reinforced the lessons you've learned in the past. We'll be adding more electrical safety tips as time permits, so please visit this page regularly. And feel free to contact Petersen's Electrical Services in Calgary with any questions you might have about electrical issues in your home or business.
We invite you to explore the following information sources for more information about electrical services in Calgary and elsewhere in Canada, home improvement, and general Internet issues. These sites present information that we feel may be valuable to our customers, but are not necessarily endorsed by Petersen's Electrical Services and we are not responsible for the content or services they contain.
Try the LDM Studio Directory whenever you need to find information online.
Inteligent Directory is another good choice for finding information related to your home and family.
Try Canadian Website Directory or try Canadian web directory, too.
See PlumbingHelp.ca - Plumbing advice, articles and information for homeowners and professionals.
GTA Windows and Doors: Vinyl windows and vinyl patio doors replacement, installation and home improvement services in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada.
or check out O'Connor Electric: Halifax Novia Scotia Canada Electrician, Large online Canada Electricians guide. O'Connor Electric, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada electrician residential commercial wholesale retail.
Free Web Directory | Business Directory Powwwerlinks Web Link Directory - Free Business Link Directory, for great sources of all kinds of information.
Some final tips on electrical safety for your home and business:
Before you begin any electric repair, be sure to turn off the power to the area at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Always use CSA approved appliances, and never use extension cords outdoors without GFCI protection. If you intend to install new wiring in your home to add an outlet or light fixture, be sure to use the proper guage of wiring adequate to handling the current required. Always buy the highest quality wire, switches, and junction boxes. The small additional cost will more than pay for itself in reliable service. If you are unsure, ask your local home improvement store or a qualified electrician for guideance. Many localities have strict building codes for wiring that you must abide by, so be sure to contact the proper office for their codes and permit requirements. Your family's safety depends on your vigilance in preventing electrical problems and promptly repairing those that do arise. If you aren't sure what you should do to fix a problem, call a certified electrician like Petersen's.