Children's plastic stopper on on wooden furniture. Children's lock for furniture boxes, refrigerator.

5 Tips to Keep Your Home’s Electrical System Safe

Electricity takes the form of electrons that move through wires to power appliances, lights, and other electronic devices. Your home’s electrical system consists of a service panel, circuits, and individual wires that run from the panels to the outlets in your home. Electricity is always potentially deadly, so it’s important to protect yourself against fires, shocks, and electrocutions.

1. Install GFCI Outlets

Ground fault circuit interrupters are quick-acting protection devices. They are designed to shut off the flow of electricity to an outlet within milliseconds if they sense an electrical imbalance. They are a great defense against shocks and electrocutions when working with water, power tools, or appliances near water.

GFCI protection should be used around wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and workshops. An electrician can install the devices easily on existing walls and floors. They should be checked periodically and replaced every five to 10 years. GFCI outlets are inexpensive and can save your life.

2. Child-Proof Your Outlets

Modern homes have a lot of electrical outlets. It is very easy for small children to reach them. They may try to insert small objects into the outlets, causing a shock or electrocution. Child-proof your house by using plastic covers to plug unused outlets. The covers are inexpensive and easy to use.

3. Investigate Flickering Lights

Lights that frequently flicker are often a sign of loose wiring in your home. Check the bulbs to make sure they are screwed in tight and not damaged. Check the wiring for wear and tear. A knowledgeable electrician can do repairs if the bulbs are not the problem. They can also help point out other issues you may not notice.

4. Conduct Regular Inspections

Electrical inspections should be a routine part of your home maintenance plan. Inspect your electrical system at least once a year. Check the switches, outlets, lights, and other electrical devices. A trained electrician can spot problems that may become a source of danger. Their checklist should include the electrical service panel, circuit breakers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, electrical outlets, dimmer switches, and light fixtures.

5. Have the Right Fire Extinguishers

A working fire extinguisher can save your life. You need at least two in your home. Place them in accessible locations. When buying, check the extinguishers for age, model, and the amount of fire protection it provides. Electrical fires require a Class B or ABC fire extinguisher. Some areas of the house where fires are most likely to start are the kitchen, bedroom, garage, and basement. Fire extinguishers should be placed in those areas. Inspect them periodically to make sure they are working properly and fully charged. Teach your family how to use the extinguishers properly.

Preventing fires, shocks, and electrocutions is easy with a well-maintained electrical system. Keeping your electrical components safe requires the help of professionals. If you’re in the El Paso, TX area, contact the team at Secure Contractors for a full range of electrical services.