As temperatures rise with the coming summer months, so does energy usage in many households. Between appliances, stereos, and, of course, air conditioners and fans, there will be many devices running all at once. That means it’s more important than ever to practice good electrical safety! As experienced Vancouver electrical contractors, we hear about electricity-related injuries and damage to electrical systems far too often. But the best way to avoid these hazards is to correct any risky behaviours early. What are the most concerning risky behaviours we encounter? Let’s take a look at five of the worst offenders.
1. Using outlets incorrectly
One of the most common risky behaviours when it comes to electricity is misusing electrical outlets. This comes in many forms. Here are some of the riskiest outlet-related behaviours you should correct immediately:
- Using adapters on two-prong outlets – Some homes may not have many three-prong outlets, and it can be tempting to use an adapter in order to plug in appliances and other devices. However, it’s much better and safer to ask electrical contractors about replacing these outlets that are common in older Vancouver homes. Besides being inconvenient, two-prong outlets are unsafe as they have no ground.
- Not installing GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms – Outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, will cut off power when they detect leakage currents. This makes using electrical devices in areas like kitchens and bathrooms much safer.
- Plugging into damaged or loose outlets – It should be a no-brainer, but many will forgo fixing damaged outlets so long as their devices can still draw power from them. This is a mistake! Faulty outlets are more prone to hazards such as shocks and fires; get them fixed right away.
2. Not updating old or faulty wiring
Your home’s wiring is one of the most critical parts of its electrical infrastructure. When something is wrong with your wiring, this greatly increases the chance of devices malfunctioning and dangerous situations involving electric shocks or fires due to overheating. If you’re unsure of the state of your home’s wiring, call one of the many professional Vancouver electrical contractors to perform an inspection. They can help spot problem areas that should be addressed promptly, while if they find no issues, you get peace of mind knowing your home’s wiring is in good shape.
3. Overloading circuits or fuse boxes
If your circuits are constantly tripping when you plug in one too many appliances, this shouldn’t be ignored. Frequent tripped circuits (and blown fuses) are a sign that your electrical usage is overloading your breaker panel or fuse box. While you may be able to resolve this by using less electricity, it may be time for a service upgrade.
4. Using the wrong extension cords
You can’t always plug in precisely where you need to. Take care with what kinds of extension cords you use and when, however. If you notice an extension cord growing hot to the touch when in use, this means it’s overloaded and should be replaced with a higher-grade cord. Additionally, not all extension cords can be used outdoors, exposed to the elements. Electrical contractors throughout Vancouver will tell you to use an extension cord designed specifically for outdoor use. Keep that in mind as outdoor gatherings become more common this summer!
5. Attempting complex electrical work yourself
While DIY is a good way for homeowners to save money on renovations and improvement projects, there are certain areas where you should take extra precautions and avoid jumping in too deep. Electrical work is definitely one of them. While simpler electrical tasks like changing out existing light switches should be doable for an amateur, anything involving wiring, working with damaged electrical devices, or working directly with your electrical panel should be left to trained and licensed professionals. Luckily, in Vancouver, we know just the electrical contractors you can call!
TCA’s Vancouver Electrical Contractors Want You to Be Safe!
Electrical contractors throughout Vancouver are here not just to help folks upgrade their homes with the latest devices, but also to keep people safe by ensuring their electrical systems are up to date and working properly. That’s why, at TCA Electric, we take electrical safety very seriously as a major responsibility of ours. If something’s not right with your home’s electrical systems, we’re standing by with our team of qualified and experienced electricians to get things up and running again. Whether you need an inspection, a simple installation, or a complete home renovation, we’re ready to get started on your electrical project. Contact us today!