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Practice Electrical Safety to Protect Your Home and Family

Electrical hazards are one of the leading causes of household fires and other incidents. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires occur every year and 400 people are electrocuted nationally. Many of these incidents are easily preventable by understanding and adhering to basic electrical safety principles and prioritizing them in your home. The new year is a perfect time to begin practicing electrical safety.

Below is a simple checklist to conduct an inspection of your home this new year. How many of these have you completed recently or consistently? 

Upgrade Lighting to LEDs

Not only do LEDs use a fraction of the energy and have a far longer life than traditional lighting, they also produce less heat and reduce the risk of starting an electrical fire. So, they will save you on your energy bill over time and also make your home more safe. 

Reset GFCI Outlets Monthly

Set a calendar notification on your phone to remind you to reset your GFCI outlets at the beginning of each month. Simply press the test/reset button and make sure the outlets trip and reset correctly. If they are malfunctioning, contact a certified electrician to have them replaced.

Install Additional Outlets

It is easier than you might think to overload an outlet, and it is not safe to depend on extension cords for long periods of time. If you need additional outlets for your appliances, contact an electrician about having some installed before reaching for extension cords or adapters.

Replace/Upgrade Old Wiring

A number of homes in the United Power service territory were built many years ago. Consider having your home inspected to see if new wiring is recommended. Signs that your wiring may be faulty include flickering lights, sudden loss of power, or burning/sparks around your outlets. Wiring can break down over time due to construction damage, rodents, or even just old age.

Steps Toward Electrical Safety

Here are some further steps you can take to make sure your home is safe day-to-day. 

  • Discard damaged or frayed electrical cords.
  • Keep walkways clear of extension cords or other electrical power cables.
  • Limit your outlets to a single high-wattage appliance at a time. 
  • Make sure the bulbs in your lamps are consistent with the wattage recommendations.
  • Only use appliances on level surfaces.

More information about home electrical safety.