At Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, your comfort and safety are our number one priorities. Our electricians know firsthand that accidents can happen and that many homeowners experience preventable problems with their electrical equipment. With the new year, now is the perfect time to recommit to electrical safety and make necessary changes to protect your family from electrical fires. Keep reading to learn our top tips for preventing an electrical fire - and remember to never hesitate to call the pros at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar for all your essential electrical services.
Our Top Five Tips for Preventing Electrical Fires
- Inspect and Replace Old Wiring: If your wiring is frayed or worn out, it is extremely important to have it replaced. This goes for the wiring in your electrical system, but also for any power and or extension cords. If you do not know the condition of your system’s wiring, it is a good idea to hire a professional to take a look—especially if your home is older than 10 years. And if you notice any sparks coming from your outlets or strange smells emanating from your electrical equipment, call our office right away.
- Don’t Overload Outlets: While modern homes are capable of supporting a lot of electronic devices, it is still best not to overexert your outlets. Your electrical circuits can only handle so much electrical equipment and if your outlets get overloaded, you may see sparking that eventually results in a fire. This is even more likely if you are using appliances that are old or outdated. Speaking of which…
- Know When to Get Rid of Appliances: Faulty outlets and old appliances are the top cause of electrical fires. Whether it’s a toaster that keeps tripping your breaker, a vacuum that’s causing your outlet to spark or a space heater that always gets too hot (and these devices are notoriously unsafe), if the appliance is old or has a tendency to cause electrical malfunctions, we strongly recommend that you stop using it and get a new one ASAP.
- Install Surge Protectors: As mentioned above, plugging too many electrical devices into one outlet is extremely unsafe. However, if you are someone who uses a lot of electronics (and let’s face it, most of us do these days,) it is also important to purchase surge protectors. Although your home’s receptacles may already come with surge protectors, using additional ones helps prevent power surges in anything plugged into your outlets. You can also purchase whole-home surge protectors, to be extra sure your electrical system is safe. Remember, power surges can be caused by anything from faulty wiring to lightning strikes. But no matter what the cause, they are extremely dangerous for your equipment, so it is always a good idea to use as much protection as you can afford.
- Pay Attention to Your Electrical Breaker Panel: If your wiring is the veins of your electrical system, your electrical panel is the heart. It is responsible for distributing power all throughout your house, and if it stops working, you’ve got a big problem on your hands. That’s why at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we proudly offer quality electrical panel upgrades, as well as repairs for your panel’s breakers. Top signs that there is an issue with your panel include flickering lights, burn marks or sparking coming from your outlets, damaged wires and power outages (indicating your panel is unable to provide the power your home needs.) Other reasons to replace your panel include age, as many panels manufactured from the ‘50s to the ‘80s were later linked to sparking and fires and having fuses instead of circuit breakers. And fuses are widely known to be less safe and efficient..