Using best practices in electrical safety is essential in everyday life where power outlets, cords, and electronic devices are everywhere. Knowing how to use and safeguard your electrical system and appliances will help you avoid damaging either.
Be Mindful of Load Limits
Outlets and fixtures have a set amount of energy they can provide. Fixtures are rated for a certain wattage of bulb, and outlets have electrical load limits. It is vital not to plug in or install devices that require more energy than these limits. Otherwise, you will have burn outs and electrical shortages on your hands. Older homes that were not wired for the amount of electricity we use today are especially vulnerable to electrical overload. As a rule of thumb, spread out your appliances over multiple outlets, and always check the wattage on your fixtures before installing any light bulbs.
Provide Surge Protection
To ensure the safety of your devices, use surge protectors. Power surges come from many different sources and can cause major damage to devices such as TVs and computers. When choosing a surge protector, check how many devices it is able to shield at a time, and what kinds of surge events it can protect against.
Extension Cord Safety
Extension cords can sometimes be eyesores and tripping hazards; however, covering them with a rug or running them behind furniture or cabinetry can be dangerous. Heat from the cord is trapped in these tight spaces, which can lead to fires. Running cords along a wall will keep them out of the way, but leave them exposed to open air with enough space to cool.
Questions about electrical safety? Reach out to member David Burtner, Burtner Electric.