When a storm hits and brings with it thunder and lightning, homeowners tend to be a little more vigilant with their electrical system. Whether you unplug your computer and big screen TV to avoid the risk of them being zapped or you just become more aware and look for sights and smells that would indicate a strike, at least safety is on the forefront of your mind. What really becomes dangerous then is when electrical systems default in otherwise normal weather conditions.
The truth is, we rarely think about our home’s electrical systems until something goes wrong. A simple issue like a light switch not turning on is a nuisance, but one that comes with an easy fix. Wires shorting out and starting fires behind the drywall however is dangerous, costly to repair and potentially fatal. The correct approach then is to be more circumspect about your home’s electrical system on a routine basis:
Get an Inspection
We recommend an annual inspection of your electrical system if anything for a sound peace of mind. We check wires, outlets, circuit breakers and more to make sure everything is in working order and to lower risks of accidents. Also, having an annual inspection ensures your energy consumption is where it should be – possibly saving you on utility bills over the course of the year. In many instances an electrical inspection is even required as part of your homeowners insurance policy.
Get Issues Fixed Quickly
Sometimes we have a tendency to let home issues slide if they aren’t deemed an immediate threat/concern. This happens a lot with your electrical system whether it be an outlet that doesn’t work, a light that shorts out, etc. Instead of ‘dealing with’ these issues in the same manner of putting a piece of electrical tape over your check engine light, get your electrical system checked out right away. Areas of your home that aren’t getting adequate power are a sign that something is wrong and should be fixed immediately.
Make Sure Proper Safety Precautions are in Place Where Needed
There is a rhyme and reason to certain safety precautions regarding your home’s electrical system. GFCI outlets for example are placed near water sources so that power is disconnected when in contact with water. Other precautions such as strategic placement of smoke detectors are issues that can be identified with a home electrical safety audit.
Examine Electrical Cords
Even if the internal workings of your home’s electrical system are in perfect working order, using an appliance with a frayed cord can present a safety danger. It can be tempting to salvage an appliance with some neatly applied tape on an exposed cord but the risks simply aren’t worth the reward.
Get More Outlets Installed if Needed
If your home resembles the Griswold Family Christmas energy use with 17 light plugs on a single outlet, it’s time to upgrade your electrical capacity. Many of our clients are finding that the outlet placement (especially in older homes) simply aren’t set up for today’s phone charger, laptop, tablet, and other electronic requirements so adding outlets is one of our most popular renovations.
If You Aren’t Comfortable Working With Electricity, Call a Professional
We like to recommend homeowners flex their DIY muscles whenever possible when it comes to weekend projects that expand their home improvement knowledge. That being said, electrical issues should almost 100% of the time be left to the professionals. Simply put, there are just too many dangers to both body and home when working on outlets, switches, and wires when unqualified.
Contact us for more information about electrical inspections, safety, and upgrades.