This may come as a shock, but your electrical system (convenient as it is) is one of the most potentially dangerous systems in your home, if it’s not handled or working properly. As we use electricity every day—charging our iPhones, flipping the lights on, using the stove, oven and toaster at the same time, drying our hair, ironing our jeans, watching Netflix— it’s important to remember and utilize best practices while doing all that plugging and unplugging. Here are a few of the most common home electrical hazards, along with some tips on how to be safe around them.
Using Extension Cords
According to studies, extension cords cause more than 3,000 house fires every year. If you’re using extension cords in your home, never overload them or expose them to water. (This should be a given, particularly the bit on exposing them to water, but just to be sure). Another good practice with extension cords? Never use extension cords or power strips with heaters or fans. These can cause them to overheat, or even cause fires. Finally, remember extension cords are only for temporary use. Using an extension cord to trim your decorative shrubs out front? Good. Running an extension cord across the room as a permanent power supply for your home theater? Bad.
Overloaded circuits are also a potential fire hazard. You’ll want to look out for any signs of danger, including wall plates that are discolored or warm to the touch, burning odors coming from outlets or frequently tripping breakers. If you have a hunch that something may be up with your circuits, give Fox Service Company a call at (512) 442-6782 and let one of our expert technicians know what’s going on. They’ll know what to do.
Protecting against arc-faults (which occur when electrical wires, devices and connections become damaged, loosened, worn out, or overheated) can literally be a life saver, as this preventative measure mitigates arcing that could ignite a fire. A great tool to protect against these faults are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter breakers and receptacles, known as AFCI’s These look almost identical to the GFCI shock prevention outlets used in areas near water such as kitchens, bathrooms, utility areas and outdoors. Both of these types of safety outlets and breakers have the little “test” button. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, these life saving devices should be tested monthly, and only installed by a licensed electrician. Both of these types of life saving devices are required in all new homes. You deserve the same protection in YOUR home! It’s a great, simple way to keep you and your family safe every day.
At Fox Service Company, we believe a healthy home is a happy home, and maintaining an efficient and safe electrical system is a great way to ensure your home’s overall health. With over 40 years of experience, Fox Service Company is committed to providing top quality HVAC, electrical, and plumbing services to home and businesses here in Austin, Temple, and San Antonio. For more quick tips and info on what Fox Service Company can do for you and your home health, visit www.foxservice.com.