Your home is a place of comfort and safety, but your personal safety can be improved by avoiding some very basic yet common electrical mistakes.
Avoid using extension cords
To compensate for too few power outlets, many home owners use extension cords. The better alternative is to use UL listed plug strips with 2 to 3 foot cords that you can plug into wall outlets and gain several more power openings without the use of extension cords. An even better solution is to add more outlets.
Install the proper wattage bulbs in your fixtures
Most ceiling mounted light fixtures are rated for 60 watt bulbs or less due to the amount of heat they produce. If you’re using bulbs with higher-than-recommended wattage, your light fixture cannot adequately dissipate the extra heat the stronger bulb produces. That, in turn, can cause the sheetrock in your ceiling to bake along with house wires in the electrical box. Just to be on the safe side, write down the proper bulb size for each light fixture or lamp in your home and keep that list in a safe place. That way, when it comes time to replace a burned out bulb, you can make sure you don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended limit.
GFCI protected receptacles
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) are outlets designed for use anywhere electricity can come in contact with water, indoors or out. GFCI outlets measure the amount of incoming and outgoing current and trip if the two are not equal.
Properly sized fuses or circuit breakers
Many older homes still have fuses instead of circuit breakers. Fuses can be easily replaced but should be replaced with those of the same size. Larger fuses (such as 20 vs. 15 amps) draw more power and, if used where they shouldn’t be, can put added strain on wires meant for lower amperage. That, in turn, can create a fire hazard.
Check your drop cords for safety that are hanging in the shop
Are the drop cords in your workshop or garage safe to use? Many times the ground prong on an extension cord gets broken off, thus creating an accident waiting to happen. The round third prong on your cord is the single most important one for personal safety while using power tools. Unless its intact, the metal casing on a faulty power tool can become energized with 120 volts, thus creating the possibility of electric shock.
At Genesis Electric, we’re dedicated to your family’s safety and greater convenience. Now or any time at all, please contact us if we can help with any of your home electrical needs, including wiring safety inspections, the installation of new outlets, replacing old and deteriorating switches and outlets, and more.