With so many devices, appliances, and other pieces of our daily life needing to be plugged in, it’s easy to take electricity for granted. But complacency mixes with electricity about as well as water does, so it’s important to stay aware and always follow safe electrical usage practices. As any North Shore electrician will tell you, winter can be an especially busy time of year for electrical problems as heaters and holiday decorations strain electrical systems. So as the weather cools down, our team at TCA Electric has put together a handful of tips for keeping your home safe.
Recognize warning signs – and act on them
Flickering lights, warm switches and outlets, and constantly tripping breakers can all be major warning signs that something is wrong with your home’s electrical systems. These issues can be due to anything from aging equipment to steadily increasing energy demands that your family is putting on your home. Learning to recognize the things your home is telling you is critical to keeping yourself and your family safe. But simply recognizing that something is wrong isn’t enough. It’s important that you don’t hesitate to make an appointment when electrical problems arise. Almost any residential electrical issue can be solved promptly by an experienced North Shore electrician.
Avoid overloading outlets and extension cords
Paying careful attention to where you plug in power-hungry appliances is an important electrical safety tip. If an outlet is already full, try rearranging some things rather than splitting the outlet and adding that space heater to the mix. Also, keep in mind that extension cords are always a temporary solution, not a permanent one. Extension cords aren’t generally meant to carry a large amount of electricity, so if you find yourself breaking them out often, consider talking to a local electrician in North Shore about installing additional power outlets in your home.
Learn about your electrical panel
The main safety feature in any home’s electrical system is the electrical panel, so it’s important to know how yours works. A good first move is to do some research on the brand and model of electrical panel you have. Certain older panels could be faulty, and even non-faulty models deteriorate over time. Any rust or visible damage indicates that it’s probably time to upgrade your electrical panel.
You should also familiarize yourself with how this device works. When your breaker trips, it’s telling you something – usually that you’re drawing on too much power in a certain area of the house. Knowing how your breaker panel works can help you diagnose electrical problems and keep things running in your home.
Know your limits
Being a DIYer can be great, as you can often forgo paying someone to fix or install something by performing the repair or upgrade yourself. The sense of self-reliance is often fulfilling, too. But it’s important to know your limits, especially when it comes to electrical work. While the worst that can happen from hanging a shelf or painting a room is a crooked shelf and some errant paint marks, making an error while performing electrical work can be extremely dangerous. If you’re ever even a little uncertain about tackling an electrical project yourself, it’s time to call in a professional who can do the work efficiently – and safely.
Schedule regular inspections
While there are some electrical problems you can spot yourself, others are likely to go unnoticed by untrained eyes. It’s often a good idea to schedule regular inspections of your home’s electrical systems. This is especially important for older homes in the North Shore area, as an expert electrician will be able to tell you if your home is due for any electrical upgrades.
TCA Electric: Your North Shore Electrician
Our professional team at TCA Electric is proud to be the go-to North Shore electrician for many Vancouver residents. We have more than 60 years of combined electrical experience on our side, so we’re ready for any residential electrical project, be it a repair or an upgrade. Don’t leave dangerous electrical hazards unaddressed in your home! Contact us today for an electrical safety inspection and let us get to work. We’re ready to complete any repairs or upgrades you might need before the winter holidays arrive.