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Comprehending the Risks of Electrical Hazards at Home

It can be easy to overlook the fact that only a century ago, having electricity in households was a new idea and posed significant hazards. However, in the past hundred years, safety measures have advanced, leading us to believe that electricity is now entirely secure.

In this article, we will discuss the typical electrical dangers that can be found in our households and provide advice on how to protect ourselves from them.

Understanding the Elements of an Electrical Hazard

The primary concern associated with electricity is typically electric shocks, however, advancements in product safety regulations have reduced the frequency of this occurrence. When it comes to performing DIY tasks on one’s electrical system, the potential risks are notably greater and should only be attempted by individuals who possess adequate knowledge of the dangers and appropriate safety protocols. However, in everyday situations, electric shocks are relatively uncommon.

Household Electrical Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Obsolete Electrical Wiring

The electrical capacity of older homes may not be suitable for modern appliances, which can increase the likelihood of electrical fires. Materials such as knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, which may have been used in the past, can deteriorate over time and pose a fire hazard.

Burdensome Electrical Circuits

The amp load rating is a crucial factor for all circuits. If this rating is surpassed, the wires may overheat, which could result in an electrical fire.

In case you identify any of these indications, it is recommended to disconnect certain devices and seek assistance from an electrician to safely redistribute the electrical load.

Defective or Faulty Wiring

If you suspect that there may be an issue with the wiring, cease using the impacted outlets and promptly seek the assistance of a certified electrician to avoid the potential danger of a fire or electric shock.

Improper Use of Extension Cords

Using extension cords can be very convenient, but they can also be easily misused. Every year, over 3000 home fires are caused by these cords. However, by following these suggestions, many of these incidents could have been prevented.

Appropriate utilization of extension cords:

  • Check the Rating
  • Fully Unravel
  • Inspect for Damage
  • Plug Into Grounded Outlets
  • Use for Temporary Needs
  • Keep Dry
  • Secure the Cord

Electrical Systems Installed Incorrectly

Although tackling DIY projects can be fulfilling, electrical tasks should not be attempted without proper qualifications. Inadequately installed electrical systems can result in dangerous situations such as electrical fires and electrocution. It is crucial to always employ a licensed electrician for any electrical work in your household to guarantee compliance with regulations and safe installation.

Avoiding Home Electrical Hazards

The significance of routine electrical assessments cannot be emphasized enough. Carried out by expert electricians, these assessments identify issues before they can worsen, and guarantee that your household’s electrical framework complies with existing safety regulations.

Prior to purchasing a new house, it is recommended to conduct inspections. In addition, after significant renovations, and as a general rule, every 10 years for recently built homes and every 3-5 years for older homes, inspections should also be performed.

Do you know the last time your home’s wiring was inspected? If not, now is a good time to have it checked so you can rest easy knowing that your property is safe.

The Significance of Hiring a Licensed Electrician

When it comes to electrical tasks at your residence or workplace, taking shortcuts can lead to disaster. Engaging the services of a certified electrician is crucial to guaranteeing that your electrical systems are properly installed, fixed, or maintained and comply with building regulations.

Before making a decision, it is crucial to take into account various factors, even if the lower prices presented by an unlicensed electrician may appear attractive.

Is Every Electrician Licensed?

The question may arise: “Are all electricians licensed?” The answer is not as straightforward as one might think—not all individuals providing electrical services hold a valid license.

It can be a lengthy and costly procedure to acquire a license, which is why unlicensed individuals may be enticed to provide their services at low budget prices.

Experience, Training, and Testing

To acquire a state license, electricians are required to have a minimum of 2 years of recent experience in electrical work and pass a licensing examination. This ensures that all licensed individuals have the practical skills required for the job and a comprehensive understanding of the National Electrical Code and safety regulations.

Acquiring Permits: Ensuring Proper Documentation and Attention to Detail

Prior to undertaking any electrical projects, it is important to obtain permits from local authorities. To ensure this, it is recommended to hire a licensed electrician who has the expertise and knowledge to obtain the necessary permits. Licensed professionals are well-versed in the permit application process and can efficiently navigate through the paperwork and approvals.

Complete the Task Correctly on the First Attempt

Although it may be alluring to save money by employing an unlicensed person or trying to handle electrical tasks on your own, it could ultimately result in higher expenses. 

Collaborating with an authorized electrician guarantees the accurate completion of your electrical repairs on the initial attempt. And in the event that any issues arise, you can rely on them to rectify them properly.

Assured Coverage: Liability Insurance

The field of electrical work involves taking on certain risks. In case of an unforeseen incident or harm to property while working on a project, hiring a certified electrician can offer an extra level of security. 

Licensed or Not? An Easy Choice

Hiring a licensed electrician offers numerous advantages that go beyond the initial cost considerations. Their qualifications, expertise, commitment to safety, ability to obtain permits, time and money-saving efficiency, liability insurance, and accountability make them an invaluable asset for any electrical project.

Troubleshooting Electrical Issues: DIY Checks Before Calling an Electrician

When electrical problems arise, it’s tempting to immediately contact an electrician. However, there are simple DIY checks you can perform first to potentially resolve the issue without professional help. Follow these steps before picking up the phone:

Easy DIY Checks for Electrical Problems

Ensure Proper Connection: Check that your device or appliance is securely plugged in. Loose connections are a common cause of seemingly complex electrical issues.

Verify Switch Controls: Confirm if the outlet isn’t controlled by a switch. Sometimes, outlets are wired to switches, leading to confusion when they fail to function.

Reset GFCI Outlets: Test and reset Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, particularly in moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms. These outlets offer protection but may need resetting after tripping.

Inspect Device Condition: Assess the condition of your devices or appliances. Faulty items can mimic electrical issues and cause circuit breakers to trip.

Review Breaker Panel: Check your circuit breaker panel for tripped breakers. Reset any flipped breakers, ensuring they’re securely in the “on” position.

Manage Circuit Load: Unplug devices from overloaded circuits and reset the breaker. Overloading can lead to circuit trips, indicating potential wiring concerns.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your DIY efforts fail to resolve the issue, it may be time to call a professional electrician. Consider contacting them in the following scenarios:

  • Immediate Attention Required: Signs of an electrical fire or hazards such as burning smells, charred outlets, or smoke demand urgent intervention from an electrician.
  • Persistent Issues: If problems persist despite your DIY attempts, a licensed electrician can provide safe and effective resolution.

Still having problems? It’s time to call an electrician!

If your electrical problems persist even after trying these troubleshooting steps, the best idea is to call a reputable, local electrician.

Certain electrical problems should result in an immediate call to your electrician. If you detect signs of an electrical fire – such as a fishy or burning smell, charred or melted outlets, or smoke coming from any of your electrical fixtures – then call a professional ASAP. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may want to turn off the electricity at your fuse box until the issue can be assessed.