In autumn, temperatures drop, and the frequency of rain and storms increases. Therefore, it is an ideal time to inspect your electrical system and the electronics in your home. Here are some of the top fall tips for keeping the electrical system safe.
Inspect Outlets and Electrical Extensions
For most people, fall is a busy period with several occasions only a few weeks apart. In autumn, homeowners will want to take out their holiday lights and use household appliances more frequently. The lighting, entertainment, and air conditioning system will most probably be running most of the time.
Therefore, fall is the best time to inspect the electrical extensions you’ll be using during the season. Look out for loose connections on outlets. Plugs that are not secured can overheat and start fires.
If the extension cord is faulty, you should replace it to avoid electrical hazards. Avoid using tape to fix damaged extension cords. The loose connections can be dangerous if you overload the outlet with many different appliances.
Protect Outdoor Fixtures and Electronics From Moisture
You can protect your electrical system in the fall by covering the outlets located in outdoor areas. Take time to clear the leaves around electrical outlets to minimize the risk of a fire in case of a short circuit.
Make sure an electrician inspects electronic equipment if there has been recent exposure to rain and moisture. You may also consider using weatherproof outdoor electronics.
In areas with moisture, the best way to reduce the risk of electric shocks is to install a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). A GFCI is a type of circuit that quickly cuts off power when there is a malfunction. By reacting within 1/40th of a second, it can interrupt power before an accident happens.
As a result, a GFCI outlet is often installed in areas close to the kitchen, bathroom, and other sources of moisture. You may also acquire a specialized GFCI circuit for outdoor use.
The National Electrical Code requires the installation of the GFCI outlet in certain parts of your house. Any outlets in basements or crawlspaces must have GFCI circuit protection. If your Pratt home needs a GFCI circuit, ECK’s electricians will be glad to help you.
Consider Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
For your home’s circuit to be efficient and safe, it may be necessary to upgrade the electrical panel. Old houses that are more than 25 years old tend to use fuses instead of circuit breakers. A fuse can lead to electrical fires in the event the replacement is the wrong amperage.
Additionally, fuses are not as reliable and are considered to be outdated technology. It is possible to lose your insurance coverage due to installations that do not comply with codes and regulations.
You should consider upgrading your system if you detect issues with the electrical system. One sign is a buzzing noise within electrical outlets. The sound usually indicates that there is an electrical arc within the outlet.
If there are short circuits within the outlet, you may notice burn marks and discoloration. It often indicates the faults within your circuit are at an advanced stage. Consider hiring an electrician to replace the outlet.
Older homes have few outlets that can support the many appliances we use today. As a result, many people end up overusing extension cords. If you have multiple extensions, an upgrade of the circuit will create new outlets that are safe to use.
Another sign of an overloaded circuit is a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. When the breaker cuts off the power, many homeowners will flip back the switch. But it is always wise to find out the underlying problem. It could be an issue that is easy to solve and can save the expenses you would have spent on repairs.
After a remodeling project, it is also a good idea to consider upgrading your electrical system. An addition will draw electrical power through lighting and air conditioning. A new panel will increase the amperage to the needs of your family. For dependable electrical solutions, you can consult ECK Services in Pratt.
Be Careful When Using Electrical Devices
During the fall, you should keep your equipment safe and in good working condition. Inspect cold weather tools such as the leaf and snow blower. Have an electrician perform timely repairs to ensure they are working.
Fall would be the best time to organize for repairs. Store warm weather tools, and ensure they are in perfect condition for the summer. Unplug electronics that you will not need until the next hot season.
As the temperatures drop, take caution about how you use heating your equipment. Space heaters can provide convenient indoor heating, but they are known to start fires. Avoid placing the space heater near flammable items. You should clear plastic containers, papers, and dry leaves from around such equipment.
Also, avoid plugging space heaters or the electric blanket into an extension cord. Extension cords have a power rating. Heavy-duty appliances can fall short of the power it demands from the circuit. When that happens, there is a higher risk of fire hazards.
Test Your Smoke Alarms and Safety SystemsWhenever you burn fuel in enclosed spaces, there is a risk that carbon monoxide will build up. The gas is known as the “invisible killer” because it is odorless and difficult to detect.
Unfortunately, ventilation does not improve safety. That is why you should avoid using generators or combustion equipment in enclosed spaces. Your portable generator should be outside and at least 20 feet away from the window.
According to the CDC, the elderly, children, and people with breathing difficulties are the most vulnerable. Additionally, statistics show more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room due to complications from CO poisoning.
How can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home? A licensed electrician should test the fire and CO detectors in the fall. Since the gas is odorless, a working sensor is the best way to protect your home.
Schedule a Fall Electrical Inspection
Since fall is a busy season, it is wise to schedule a professional inspection to avoid electrical faults. A professional has the requisite experience to spot issues within your home’s circuit. Electrical malfunctions can range from problems such as fraying wires to outdated circuits. An inspection will prepare your home for the winter and will keep your appliances safe.
A faulty electrical system can incur losses in repairs and a spike in your monthly bills. Short circuits and malfunctioning appliances draw more energy than efficient equipment. You will also prevent electronics from damage due to electrical faults.
Certified electricians have the training to install or to address issues related to electrical codes and standards. That way, you can avoid legal problems or penalties resulting from irregular installations. Therefore, an electrical inspection gives you peace of mind even as the temperatures drop.
If you need electrical repairs or upgrades in Pratt, call Eck Services for quality solutions you can trust. We are proud of being the industry leader in electrical services. You can rely on our team for wiring, outdoor lighting, and panels, among other services. Our team has more than 15 years of experience, and we can take on projects of varying sizes and specifications. Schedule an appointment today for prompt and comprehensive electrical solutions.