Home electrical safety is absolutely critical to consider, and not paying the proper attention can result in disaster. Every year, property is damaged and people are injured or even killed in electrical fires and other electrical related hazards — often times this happens because people don’t know that their home’s electrical system is not code compliant. If you are missing any of the necessary components, you too could be at risk!
That’s why we here at Current Electric we’ve put together a list of the need-to-have safety measures. You can check yourself to make sure that your home is up-to-date with all of the following or you can call in the experts at Current Electric for an efficient inspection and exceptional service. We want every homeowner in the greater Milwaukee area to be safe! So here are the 5 electrical safety measures your home needs to have in the modern day:
Not sure if your home has these safety tools already installed? Then call the electrical safety professionals at Current Electric today!
Inside of your electrical panel, you should see circuit breakers for each electrical service in your home. These circuit breakers “trip” (meaning that they cut off the electrical current) if the circuit capacity is overloaded. An arc fault circuit interrupter is a specific type of breaker that responds to unintended “arcing,” which is the term for when electricity leaps between conductors (for instance, lightening is a naturally occurring electrical arc).
Arc fault circuit interrupters must distinguish between harmless electrical arcs that occur deliberately in switch or outlet operation and arcs that are liable to cause fires. In the latter case, it needs to stop the flow of electricity instantly.
Not sure if arc faults are important? Arc faults in homes are one of the leading causes of the over 40,000 fires attributed to home wiring in the U.S. every year. Over 350 deaths and 1,400 injuries result from these fires annually. Be one of the homes that is safe and protected from this hazard by calling our professionals to install AFCI circuit breakers in your home.
What do the outlets in your kitchen look like? Do they have a reset button between the sockets for when the outlet is triggered? This is a feature of ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, which should be installed in your kitchen and any other room with several important electrical appliances or a faucet.
That’s because GFCI outlets are specifically designed to ground electricity when it exceeds the limitations of the outlet or appliance. For instance, if a piece of metal from a broken plug were to become wedged in a conventional outlet, the result would probably be an electrical fire, since the outlet would continue to send electricity through even though no appliance was attached.
But with a GFCI outlet, the circuit’s current would simply be grounded! As soon as the outlet or appliance is fixed, then, the sockets can be reset by depressing the black RESET button.
As we continue to upgrade our homes and our appliances, we should be upgrading our electrical panels too! Having an outdated electrical panel could mean your home is at risk of electrical disaster. That’s because your electrical panel performs a critical safety function in your home, namely cutting the current when it threatens to overload the capacity of your wiring.
Both fuse boxes and circuit breakers (the two separate types of electrical panels) are designed so that they shut off electricity if it reaches a certain level. If it didn’t do this correctly, you could start to see your appliances malfunction or, even worse, do permanent damage to your home’s wiring.
Was your electrical panel installed by the FPE (Federal Pacific Electric Company)? Is it causing your power to trip frequently and your lights to flicker? Do your bulbs and appliances burn out before their expected lifespan is complete? Then it may be time to upgrade today!
In the instance of a sudden and powerful current coursing through your home’s electrical system, such as a lightning strike or an appliance with excessive voltage being turned on, your wiring can break under the pressure. Wiring without surge protection can overheat and eventually burn out as a result of excessive voltage — but a quality surge protection system installed by Current Electric will divert and ground excess electricity, keeping your wiring and your appliances safe from overload!
The final safety measure we strongly suggest for people with older homes is to request a code compliance check from a professional electrician. A great deal of new efficiency and safety legislation has gone into effect over the course of just the last few years, but some homeowners may still be operating with outdated and dangerous conditions in their system.
For instance, aluminum wiring has been identified as a serious electrical fire hazard and outlawed in most states, but some old homes continue to have this unsafe wiring material since they have never been checked for code compliance since they were built and last purchased.
So don’t wait: improve and ensure your electrical safety by calling the electrical experts at Current to perform a professional inspection on your home today.