Electrical issues need to be addressed. Not only can homeowners receive quite a shock from overloaded circuits or worn-out insulation (no pun intended), but an electrical problem, such as an outdated breaker, can lead to a fire. Homeowners need to be aware of how to keep their home safe from electrical problems and keep an eye out for a range of electrical hazards. It is also important to realize when to call for professional help.
Homeowners and landlords can address a number of these issues and avoid dealing with a potential fire hazard in their home. Protect yourself and your family with the following electrical five safety tips.
1. A Stubborn Breaker Should Not Be Forced
You reset the breaker. It then immediately trips. Do not attempt to reset it again. This problem could be due to one of two reasons. On one hand, the electrical load on that breaker could be too large. On the other hand, tripping could be a result of a severe electrical problem. Force that breaker again and you may be dealing with a fire in your home. Tripping of breakers is meant to protect the homeowner. Call an electrician to investigate the problem.
2. A Warm Outlet Could Be A Sign Of An Overloaded Outlet
Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches, which are often warm and generally not a hazard. But as a general rule, never ignore a warm outlet. There can be a few reasons for a warm outlet. As a homeowner, you may be dealing with a loose electrical splice, undersized wiring or a large electrical load on a single outlet. Cut the power before checking into the issue. Keep an eye out for melted connections, burned insulation or a loose splice. In addition, evaluate the wattage of connected devices. It may be necessary to switch the device to another outlet.
An electrician may be needed if the issue continues after a basic assessment is made – electrical issues can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to call on a professional in cases where you may feel unsafe.
Better safe than sorry!
3. An Outdated Breaker May Cause a Fire
Outdated panels and breakers can overheat wires and lead to a house fire. Homeowners need to replace old, outdated panels and circuit breakers such as older FPE panels, Zinsco Panels, split-bus panels past their expected lifespan and modified fuse boxes. Modifications on fuse boxes can lead to blown fuses and compensatory changes like larger fuses can create a fire hazard.
A homeowner with an outdated panel and breaker should have it professionally inspected and in the most instances, replaced.
4. A Wobbly Outlet or Switch Receptacle May Have Come Loose
When outlets or switches are loose, this is generally an indication that the box is not properly affixed to the stud, or it could mean the device was improperly mounted. Cut the power, remove the faceplate and check mounting screws. You may need to tighten the mounting screw, shorten long screws to have them fully set, or tighten the box’s connection to the framing. This should address the issue.
Again, f you are unsure contact an electrician to inspect the outlet. Safety first!
5. Do Not Use Water to Put Out an Electrical Fire
All residents in the house should know how to put out an electrical fire. Water should not be used to address an electrical fire as the water will only help it get larger. A chemical fire extinguisher can be used on small electrical fires. If a fire has grown too large, exit the home and call the fire department once safely outside.
Keep Your Home Safe With the Right Equipment and Expertise
Not only is Civic Recycling the place for necessary electrical equipment, reconditioned breakers, tested components, and much more, the Civic Recycling team answers your questions, providing expert advice when it comes to identifying and addressing electrical malfunctions. Businesses and homeowners in and around Calgary have relied upon Civic Recycling, their supplier of new, used, and reconditioned electrical equipment since 1995.