Electricity is essential to the operation of our homes and businesses. It runs all of our lighting, appliances, heating and cooling systems and more. But if your electrical system is not installed or repaired properly, it can be hazardous.
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in North America. They are a result of faulty wiring, improper installations and repairs, and aging electrical systems. McAra Energy in Calgary offers a wide range of electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling contracting services. They share some important tips for making sure your home’s electrical system is safe.
Check the age of your electrical system.
If you live in an older home, it’s important to know the age of your electrical system. It might not be to current building code. You should have a licensed electrician inspect it for you. If you’ve just moved into the house and are not sure when it was last inspected, check your electrical panel. There might be a sticker with initials or a signature showing the last inspection date. If there isn’t anything, and your home is older, have an electrician inspect it for you right away.
Don’t overload your circuits.
Each electrical circuit in your home is built to handle a certain load of electricity. When that load limit is exceeded, your circuit breaker will trip. This is a safety feature and can prevent your wiring from burning out and causing a fire. If your breaker is constantly tripping, it’s likely due to an overload on the circuit. Try unplugging things from outlets attached to that circuit, and only run one appliance, like the coffee maker or microwave, at a time. You should also unplug small appliances, like the toaster or blender, when you’re not using them. If it is continuously tripping the breaker, stop and call an electrician.
Don’t use extension cords as a permanent solution.
Extension cords are a great way to power things temporarily and on an as-needed basis. If you are using extension cords in your house permanently, it’s time to call an electrician to install more outlets in your home. Remember to not use outdoor-rated extension cords indoors, and vise versa.
Check your outlets and switches for discolouring.
If you have discolouring on your outlet or switch faceplates, it could indicate overheating in the wiring behind. You should also watch for sparks and listen for a sparking or sizzling sound, and burning smell. If you see, hear or smell anything out of the ordinary, contact an electrician right away. It’s likely that switch or outlet needs a wiring repair. Don’t wait, as it is a potential fire hazard.
Make sure GFCI outlets are used near water sources.
GFCI outlets, or Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters should be used in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, the garage or any other place that might have moisture or water nearby. These outlets will shut off the electricity if they detect a surge, greatly reducing the chance of you or your family members getting a shock. To learn more, read how does a GFCI outlet work.
Electricians in Calgary
If your electrical system is showing signs of wear or malfunction, do not wait. Contact a professional electrical company immediately, and do not attempt DIY electrical work as it can be very dangerous.
McAra Energy is a family-owned, Canadian company. They provide families and businesses with a wide range of contracting services, including quality electrical installations and repairs.