|Posted on March 25, 2015 at 8:00 PM|
As spring-cleaning time approaches, don’t forget to add “electrical safety” to your annual checklist. Chasing dust bunnies is a worthy goal, but protecting your family and home is one of the most important chores you’ll ever tackle.
10 Electrical Safety Tips
- Keep power cords and electrical equipment away from moisture. Making contact with charged water is more than dangerous; it is life threatening. If you accidentally drop a dryer or other plugged-in appliance into the water, NEVER unplug it or pick it up before shutting off electricity to the proper circuit. Allow the device to dry for a few days and have an electrical professional examine the appliance to determine if it is still safe and functional.
- Call before you dig. Prevent damage to underground electrical equipment and avoid potential injury by making sure you are safe to dig. New Hampshire and Massachusetts law requires residents to call at least three full business days before digging. Dial 811 to be connected to Dig Safe.
- Plug countertop appliances into GFCIs. Should an appliance malfunction or fall into the water, the GFCI shuts off electricity to the appliance before electrical shock can occur.
- Check electrical devices for UL labels. Underwriters Laboratories certifies the safety of electrical devices, but the appliance and electrical market has seen a growing number of counterfeit UL labels. Look for the UL label on your devices, and read this article by Underwriters Laboratories to learn how to spot a fake label.
- Clean your exhaust hood after a long winter of indoor cooking. Food particles, dust, and oil buildup encourages bacteria growth and is a potential fire hazard. Remove and clean the hood filter, and use a degreaser to clean exposed surfaces.
- Vacuum the coils behind your refrigerator. Dirt buildup contributes to appliance inefficiency and is also a potential fire hazard. Carefully clean the coils every few months. When you return the refrigerator to its proper place, leave room behind it for air to safely circulate.
- Clean dryer ducts. Dryer fires are a major hazard that can be avoided by cleaning the interior and exterior of your dryer hose each year. Every six months, inspect the dryer vent for clogs and lint buildup. There are many professional HVAC companies that provide a thorough dryer vent inspection and cleaning if you are unable to do this, yourself.
- Check lamp and fixture wattages while you are dusting. Bulb wattages should be equal to or less than manufacturer recommendations, which are listed on the individual fixture.
- Check power strips and surge suppressors. These electrical devices are designed to manage a specified electrical load. Avoid plugging too many items into the same outlet, which may cause a circuit overload or lead to a fire.
- Schedule an electrical inspection. Inspections are especially important for homeowners moving into or out of a new home. Northern Automation and Electric can perform visual inspections, inspects circuit panels, and brings all electrical systems up to date with code corrections.
Learn More About Electrical Safety
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the risk of electrical fire is a big concern for homeowners. Over 28,600 annual electrical fires lead to 310 deaths, 1,100 injuries, and more than $1 billion in property loss and damages. At NAE Automation and Electric we educate the community about electrical safety so families can feel secure in their homes. View our FREE SAFETY CHECKLIST and information about preventing generator hazards, putting out electrical fires, and keeping children safe around electricity.
To schedule an electrical inspection or discuss safety concerns contact Eric at Northern Automation and Electric 603-662-2108 today!