It is possible to take small steps to protect yourself, your family, and your Wilmington, NC property from electrical fires. There are many simple steps you can take that may save thousands of dollars and, more importantly, save lives. We recommend that you take into account the following electrical safety guidelines, as well as rely on professional electrical services.
Never leave electrical appliances unattended. Not only will you have to pay more electricity, but it also increases the risk of an electrical fire. This is especially true of appliances in the kitchen, where most house fires are started. Turn off space heaters before you leave the room, and don’t leave electrical appliances on overnight, unless necessary.
Don’t overload an electric outlet. Overloading is a common cause of electric fires. It happens when too many appliances are plugged into the same outlet, power strip, or extension cord. Each circuit has a limit. Get more outlets installed through a trusted company’s electrical services, if you require more electrical access points. It’s safer and more convenient than relying on extension cables.
Pay attention to outlets located near water sources. Check that outlets located near water sources have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters). These outlets are typically recommended in garages, kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.
Be aware of flammable materials around electrical outlets and appliances. Electric heaters that are portable can be dangerous if they come in direct contact with flammables. Be aware of extension cords and cables under carpets and rugs. They can spark if they are heated too much, causing you to need electrical services. Irons, hair dryers and lamps can also set off fires when they come into contact with flammable materials like blankets, rugs, and towels. While electricity generates very little heat, it can still ignite flammable items, if electrical items are left unattended in an unsafe position.
Get rid of old appliances. It’s better to get rid of them now than later, when they start to cause alarming electrical shorts. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Repair poor wiring. Are the cords frayed or worn? You should use a professional company’s electrical services to replace them as soon as you can with new wiring. Faulty wiring can be a major cause of house fires.
Have your wiring checked regularly. If you don’t recall the last time an electrician checked your electrical panel and outlets, schedule an inspection right away. This is a great way of knowing if your home meets the electrical safety standards. The inspections take approximately an hour to complete and the cost is minimal compared with the protection and peace of mind that you receive from a fully functional electrical system.
An electrician in Wilmington, NC can help you with a wide variety of electrical services that help to ensure the safety of your home. Some of the most common tasks you’ll find an electrician doing to help preserve your safety are:
Replacing old wiring.
If you find frayed, worn, or broken wires, it is likely that they are too old to be repaired safely. Old wiring can lead to a short circuit, or even an electrical fire. An electrician can quickly and safely repair or replace faulty cabling as necessary.
Replacing damaged cords and plugs.
A plug can also catch fire if the covering is damaged, even if the wiring inside is not considered faulty and you don’t think you require electrical services. The electrical system could be exposed to water and other dangerous hazards if the coverings are damaged.
Replace unsafe sockets and appliances.
All electrical appliances must meet the current safety standards. If they don’t, they can be a fire hazard. To learn how to connect your circuits and appliances correctly, contact a professional electrician. Ask them about which appliances and sockets are appropriate for your needs before you consider upgrading. Get a professional electrical inspection and replace any sockets that are damaged or worn out.
Install GFCI outlets.
You should ensure that your kitchen, garage, or utility room is equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters outlets installed via professional electrical services. These devices ensure that appliances can be used safely around water sources without exposing them to short circuits or electrical fires.
Circuit breakers are a device that interrupts abnormal or faulty current within a circuit. It limits the flow of electric current to the conductor when too many appliances are plugged in and there could be a dangerous overload. Circuit breakers are primarily used to close or open an electrical circuit. This helps to prevent electrical fires and protects the electrical system. A circuit breaker box should be installed in every home.
An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), is another circuit protection device designed to protect you against electrical fires that can be caused by arcing errors. It detects arc faults and de-energizes the circuit if one is found.
AFCIs can be integrated into standard circuit breaker systems through reliable electrical services to provide overload and short-circuit protection. They are similar to GFCI protection, but they also provide protection against arcing circuits.
An out-of-voltage parameter circuit interrupter (OPCIV) can detect and protect against electrical fires. They are useful in detecting abnormal voltage, high resistance connections, open neutral faults, and damaged wiring, to name just a few.
An OPCIV will disconnect the load if it detects abnormal conditions. It offers reasonable protection against damaged wires and high-impedance connections, as well as protection against voltage fluctuations. The OPCIV needs installing in a very specific location, so you will need the help of an electrician.
The electrical capacity of your Wilmington, NC home may be overwhelmed if you add more lighting, electronics, or appliances to your home without first determining the capacity of your existing system. You may need to increase the electrical system’s capacity if you have circuit breakers constantly tripping or fuses blowing regularly. Call Mister Sparky of Wilmington if you need electrical services that guarantee safety.