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Electrical Safety for your Home

Electrical Don’ts for Your Home

Electrical Safety for your Home

Electrical Safety for your Home – Learn how to identify the electrical safety hazards you can’t see before problems arise.  Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know.  I often wonder what they would have thought of microwaves, entertainment centers, dishwashers and the armies of other gadgets we take for granted on a daily basis. But your home’s electrical system may have a few things going on that might shock you too. Enlighten yourself with these tips that can help you be a more aware homeowner and may alert you to dangerous electrical problems that need to be fixed by calling Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

1. Throw your home a birthday party
For electrical safety reasons, it’s good to know how old your home is and to celebrate its birthday with an electrical safety inspection. Older homes weren’t built to handle the electrical load our contemporary lives carry. Knowing whether your home’s electrical system has been updated to safely handle all the electrical current your family uses is imperative.  Replacing an old circuit breaker box merits the expense — for a number of reasons.  Electrical Safety for your Home

2. Know your electric panel
Even as recently as the 1990s, faulty electrical panels were being installed in many new homes. Certain brands, including Federal Pacific, ITE, Pushmatic, Zinsco, and GTE/Sylvania, are no longer manufactured and pose electrical hazards that could lead to a fire. Your electric panel should never feel hot to the touch.  A hot electric panel points to a big problems.  Electrical Safety for your Home
Your circuit breaker panel ensures your home’s electrical safety, but is the panel itself safe?
If your home was built between 1950 and 1990 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, you run a significant risk of breaker malfunction and fire.

The breakers inside the panel are designed to guard your home against serious electrical problems by preventing circuit overload, short circuits and outside power surges coming into the panel. When an overload occurs, a breaker protects you by tripping, thus shutting down the power to the circuit. However, if a breaker is defective or not operating properly, the risk of fire to the panel and consequently to your home becomes imminent.

Why are Federal Pacific breaker boxes dangerous?
Multiple tests done on the breakers since the 1980s have proven that one in four Stab-Lok breakers are defective and will not properly trip off. Unfortunately, when the testing began in the early 1980s, a New Jersey court later ruled that FPE committed testing fraud and a cover-up, labeling the breakers as meeting the standards set by the UL when in reality, they were defective. Electrical Safety for your Home, Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

In 1983, the Consumer Product Safety Commission closed its two-year investigation and felt it impossible to create a product recall at the time because of budget issues, even as Federal Pacific panels and breakers continued to be installed in millions of homes that to this day still run the risk of an electrical fire. An estimated 2,800 fires each year directly result from Federal Pacific panel breaker malfunction. Federal Pacific Electric has been out of business for many years, but the danger and damage caused by their negligence continues.  Electrical Safety for your Home

3. Understand the breakers
These guys are your friends, even though you may find their interference irritating when they trip. They’re trying to tell you something, and it’s usually that you have too many appliances or gadgets connected to the same circuit. Reconfigure your appliances, and if the breakers keep tripping, get help from an electrician.  Electrical Safety for your Home

4. Make friends with your fire extinguisher
The only safe way to extinguish an electrical fire is with a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher. Never use water; it conducts electricity. Keep fire extinguishers on each level of your home, and know how to use them and when to replace them.  Electrical Safety Tips  Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

5. Feel your outlets
Place your hand on the outlets in your home. Warm or hot outlets point to trouble.  Electrical Safety for your Home

A warm outlet could mean one of several dangerous situations is brewing: an electrical load on this circuit is too high, wiring is melting, wiring isn’t up to code or is loose. Also, note if the outlets don’t hold plugs, or if the outlet itself seems loose on the wall.

Replace any two-pronged outlets with newer, grounded three-pronged outlets. Any outlet near water should be switched to code-correct GFCI outlets. Call an electrician to handle these requests.

6. Keep an eye on the lights
Flickering lights could mean you need to repair or replace your electrical panel, or you have too many appliances plugged into one circuit. Don’t ignore this issue. Electrical Safety Tips
What Do Electrical Wire Color Codes Mean?
All home electrical wires made in the U.S. follow standard color codes that identify each wire’s function in a circuit.

7. Ground older appliances
Older appliances could have grounding issues that might put you at risk for a shock. Ensure all of your appliances have three-pronged plugs that can properly connect to a grounded outlet. Any kitchen appliances with just two-pronged plugs should be replaced. If the outlets aren’t grounded, they should be replaced, and a new circuit should be installed.

Electrical work is inherently dangerous. Professional electricians receive years of training and on-the-job experience before the state grants them a license. Use discretion when attempting your own electrical work. To make sure all the electrical systems in your home are safe, up to code and working as they should, hire a trusted electrician to handle the job.  Electrical Safety for your Home.  Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

tedvinci@gmail.com

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