With May being National Electrical Safety Month, now is the perfect time to think about how you can avoid potential electrical hazards in your home. When it comes to our home’s electrical system, most of us know the basics, such as knowing water and electricity don’t mix, but there are so many other components to an electrical system that we need to be aware of to avoid hazardous situations.
While your home’s electrical system might not always be top of mind, it’s recommended to have it professionally inspected every 2-3 years, especially if you live in an older house. Besides professional inspection, there are also some DIY electrical tasks that you can add to your typical spring cleaning checklist. Keep reading to find out!
Check Your Outlets and Light Switches
We have outlets and light switches all over our homes, so it’s pretty obvious we aren’t thinking about inspecting them every time we walk by one. However, it’s crucial to make sure they are working properly at all times and that plugs are fitting into the outlets correctly. When checking your outlets and switches, ask yourself these questions:
- Are your switches or outlets warm to the touch?
- Are your switches or outlets discolored?
- Do you notice any odd smells around your outlets or switches?
- Are your switches or outlets making odd sounds like buzzing or crackling?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to have them checked by a professional. At JN Electric of Tampa Bay, your electrical safety is our top priority. We perform whole home electrical safety inspections and will test all of your outlets to ensure they are working properly.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Something you should be doing once a month, not just in the spring, is testing every smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Simply press the “test” button on the alarm and it will make a loud siren noise. Unless you have a 10-year battery smoke alarm, check the batteries every six months. You’ll typically hear a beeping or chirping sound when your alarms have low battery life and this is a signal to replace the batteries right away.
When was the last time you cleaned your oven, range, and exhaust hood? Are there any combustibles near your heat-producing appliances? Part of your electrical safety checklist should include checking your home’s heat-producing appliances. Make sure items like paper towels, napkins, and potholders are kept away from your appliances.
If you have a habit of keeping countertop appliances, like toasters and air fryers, plugged in when they aren’t being used, it’s best to unplug them. The same goes for your hairdryer on the bathroom counter. Always ensure there is no grease, lint, or other debris blocking your kitchen exhaust fan.
A safety tip we can’t stress enough is making sure you never have extension cords running under carpets or over door thresholds. Extension cords should not be used as permanent fixtures. If you find yourself needing additional outlets and have resorted to using an extension cord permanently, it’s best to call your local electrical contractor to install outlets where you need them most.
Other Warning Signs to Look Out For
Once you’ve completed the above checklist, keep these warning signs in mind and if you experience any of them, call your local electrical contractor immediately:
- Outlets start to spark
- Appliances smell like rubber
- Lights are frequently flickering
- Circuit breaker flips
- Outlets are warm to the touch
Electrical Safety Maintenance in Tampa
At JN Electric of Tampa Bay, we understand how important electrical safety is. Knowing your home is safe from electrical hazards will give you and your family peace of mind knowing you are secure inside your home. Contact us today to schedule your electrical maintenance and safety inspection!