It’s Electrical Safety Month!
Electricity is a powerful force, but because people are around it all the time, they sometimes forget the danger that it poses. However, because it’s National Electrical Safety Month, this post will go over essential safety devices found in most homes, what to look for that indicates overloaded circuits, and why every home should install a surge protector.
Household Devices That Ensure Electrical Safety
Fuses, circuit breakers, and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are all vital safety devices that can help protect people from electrical hazards. A fuse is a device that will open a circuit if the current flow becomes too high. This prevents an overload and protects against electrical fire or other damage to the wiring system. Fuses are typically rated for a specific type of current and should be replaced with the same size, style, and rating as the original. Circuit breakers provide similar protection to fuses but can be reset instead of needing to be replaced when they trip. They operate by monitoring the current flow in a circuit and will open if it becomes too high.
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are a type of electrical outlet designed to protect against electric shock. They monitor the amount of current flowing through a circuit. They will immediately open the circuit when sensing any imbalance between the hot and neutral wires, which could indicate an electrical shock could occur. GFCIs should be installed on all circuits with the potential for electric shocks due to water, such as those in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas. All these safety devices are essential for protection against electrical hazards and should be regularly inspected by an electrician to ensure they work correctly.
Signs of an Overloaded Circuit
Though the above safety systems are in place in most homes, they cannot cover every possible contingency. An overloaded circuit means more energy is being pulled through the wires than they can hold. Some of the signs of an overloaded circuit are:
- Buzzing Sounds: This can indicate excess energy or a wiring problem.
- Dimming or Flickering Lights: If lights in one area seem to be dim or flickering, then there is a possibility the circuit connected to them is overloaded.
- Outlets Hot to the Touch: If an outlet is hot when touched, there is likely an overload. Anything plugged in should be removed immediately.
- Burning Smells: If a homeowner smells something burning, like burning plastic, this is a clear sign of an overloaded circuit.
- Melting or Scorched Plugs: If there is visible damage on the plug, this is a major red flag.
Circuit overloads can be extremely dangerous because they can cause electric shocks, fire hazards, and damage to electrical equipment. To help prevent a circuit overload, ensure all devices and appliances are turned off when not in use and unplug them when not used. Also, be sure to contact an electrician immediately after noticing the signs of an overloaded circuit to prevent damage and electrical hazards.
Protection From Power Surges
A power surge is a sudden, temporary increase in electrical current. It can occur from large appliances cycling on and off, nearby lightning strikes, or downed power lines. When an excessive amount of electricity flows through the home’s wiring system, it causes appliances to malfunction and can even damage them beyond repair.
Whole-home surge protectors protect the home from dangerous power surges that can cause extensive damage to electronics and appliances. These units are installed at the main service panel, which ensures they capture all three phases of electricity entering the home. This allows them to provide complete protection against power surges originating outside or inside the house. Homeowners can combat power surges and protect their valuable electronics and appliances by installing a whole-home surge protector.
About Mr. Air AC & Electrical
Mr. Air AC & Electrical has over 30 years of experience serving Pompano Beach, FL, and the surrounding communities. They provide straightforward pricing, a 24-hour live answer service, and an on-time guarantee. Call them today for electrical and whole-house surge protection services in Pompano Beach, FL.
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