It’s astonishing how many devices we have plugged in our house every single day. Just when you thought your kids were all set with the latest ipod, there just so happens to be that newer model that they just have to own. In this day and age, overloading outlets and the overuse of power bars have become the norm.
Isn’t it getting a little dangerous?
Electrical Safety and Your Family
In this blog post we’ll be touching on our top electrical safety tips that we think all homeowners should be aware of.
1. Unplug appliances that are not in use.
Not only does it keep children and pets safe from potential electrical shock but it also cuts down on your electrical bill. Such appliances draw what’s known as phantom energy while not in use. While it doesn’t seem like a significant difference, this form of energy loss actually accounts for up to 10% of your monthly electrical costs (CBC, 2010).
Bottom line: If you don’t use a device often, unplug it.
2. Keep water away from electricity!
While it may seem obvious, we see it again and again. Your curling iron is plugged in next to a sink full of water; those outdoor speakers are just a tad too close to the pool’s edge. It’s unbelievably dangerous. Even something as simple as pulling your phone charger out of the socket after recently washing your hands is a no-no. We advise all our friends and family to please exercise caution around any activity that may involve a risk of electrical shock due to a combination of water and electricity.
3. The use of outlet caps
It’s all too common. A small child has tried to stick a penny in a socket. To them it’s a gumball machine. If you’re a newbie parent we strongly advise you to install outlet caps in your home, especially in rooms where infants and young children tend to play in. Teach kids to respect electricity early so that they’ll grow up into responsible adults like their parents.
4. Power cord overcrowding
Plugging in too many cords into one electrical outlet will not only cause a breaker to trip, but it is also a major fire hazard. We get it. Some rooms were just poorly designed. There’s just not enough outlets for all your devices. We stress that you should still simply unplug something that you’re not using instead of overloading a single outlet. Furthermore, household power strips are only able to handle up to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Overloading a power bar is yet another cause for concern.
Tip: Throw away that power cord as soon as it begins to fray. Macbook cables are notorious for this. Take it into an Apple store before it becomes a hazard.
5. Be cautious when a breaker trips
If the breaker won’t reset call a qualified electrician. Forcing a breaker to reset can damage the breaker or worse, start a fire. These guys are your friends, not your enemies. While breaker trips may be annoying, they’re actually trying to tell you something. Maybe you have too many things plugged in or maybe your home just needs to upgrade its dated electrical system. What many people do not know is that the circuit breaker is there to prevent the wires in the wall or the outlet itself to overheat and cause a fire. So many simple everyday things can cause a fire when improperly handling household electricity. The guys here at Medley Electric are always available to help when you have a concern. We’re available 24/7 to meet your needs.
6. Ensure all appliances are properly grounded
Here in Waterloo and the surrounding area, we have an abundance of homes which still use two-pronged outlets. The difference between the two-pronged outlet and the three-pronged outlet is that the circular 3rd prong allows your device to be grounded. By grounding a device it gives the user protection from electric shock. All metal-encased appliances that aren’t grounded are subject to this potential shock. While most appliances in your kitchen are safely grounded, sometimes people don’t think about their old Windows XP computer. If a wire in the computer somehow comes loose, any user that touches a metal component on the computer could receive some degree of electric shock. Old kitchen appliances that still have two-pronged outlets are the most at-risk as these appliances run the highest voltage and therefore put you at the highest risk for a shock. These outlets should be replaced and a new circuit installed right away.
7. Do not attempt to fix it yourself
Electrical work is dangerous stuff. Professional electricians receive years of training and on-the-job experience before they receive their certifications. To make sure all your electrical systems in your home are safe and up to date, call us today. Here at Medley Electric we’re always available to do the job. No one in the Tri-City area is as friendly or as passionate in our work as we are.