Electricians List 3 Electrical Safety Standards You May be Violating

It’s near impossible to imagine life today without the wonders of electricity. From powering everyday appliances like your refrigerator to ensuring we have enough “juice” in our mobile devices, electricity truly has helped improve our lives at home.

Unfortunately, electricity itself can present several safety hazards, especially when used incorrectly. This is why many respected electricians, such as the ones from Electrical Experts, remind homeowners to be cautious when using their electrical outlets. Many homeowners do not realize that they are violating electrical safety standards in their own homes. Some mistakes they make include:

Not Using GFCI Outlets Outdoors

If you have a beautiful outdoor living space in your home, there is a good chance that you have a few outlets located outside your house. If so, make sure that they are GFCI (Ground Faults Circuit Interrupters) outlets. These outlets are designed to protect both your home and your appliances from any electrical surges or malfunctions that may be caused by the elements. It is highly advisable that you have GFCI outlets installed in the bathrooms and kitchen as well due to the constant presence of water in these rooms.

Having Ungrounded Three-Prong Outlets

The third prong on an outlet is what is known as ‘the ground’, which provides an electric current an alternate path should things go awry. This is an important safety feature as it helps minimize the risks of electric shocks. Similarly, the presence of the third prong helps surge protectors protect your appliances and electronics.

Wiring is Too Close to Wooden Frames

At the very least, in-wall wiring should be 1 ¼ inches away from wooden frames. This is to prevent any drywall screws or long trim nails from hitting the insulation of the wiring and causing short-circuits. If this is not possible for any reason, you may want to ask an electrician to protect your wiring with nail plates.

Sources:

Electrical Safety at Home, esasafe.com

9 Common Wiring Mistakes and Code Violations, finehomebuilding.com

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How Do Professional Electricians Carry Out Electrical Inspections?

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), electrical systems account for 51,000 residential fires each year, which results in $1.3 billion in property damage, over 1,400 in injuries, and almost 500 untimely deaths. A regular electrical home safety inspection performed by a licensed electrician can help keep your home and family safe from electrical fires. With a regular electrical system inspection, defective wiring system can be identified, and electrical fires can be prevented.

Want to know how electricians conduct electrical home safety inspections to ensure they are done properly? They do so by following these two basic steps.

Electricians follow codes and standards from National Fire Protection Association

Licensed electricians are well-versed in the National Fire Protection Association’s National Electrical Code and its specifications. As the benchmark for the installation and inspection of electrical circuits, meeting the requirements of the code means peace of mind for you, the homeowner. Areas that are covered by inspection include circuitry, equipment, electrical services, AFCI, GFCI, grounding, wiring methods, etc.

They get permits for the work required on a home’s system

All homeowners who are having a regulated electrical work done in their homes are required to obtain a permit before they begin. A permit is generally necessary for the following:

  • Installation or alteration of any permanent electrical wiring or device
  • Installation of additional wiring, electrical outlet, light fixture, and receptacle for garage-door opener
  • Conversion of a fuse box to circuit breaker

 

When you have the necessary permit for any of these jobs, a thorough inspection by a home inspector follows when the electrician declares that the task is done, so by having the permits, you ensure that the task is done right.

Sources:

Home Electrical Fires, esfi.org

SAFETY IS A MAJOR CONCERN FOR ELECTRICIANS AND THE SYSTEMS THEY INSTALL, caylorindustrial.com

3 Tips on Adding Electrical Outlets to Decks & Other Outdoor Spaces

Decks, patios, gazebos, and sunrooms can be all fantastic areas to unwind. It would come as no surprise if homeowners wanted to spend as much time as possible in them.

 

One way to make that happen is to install adequate electrical outlets in these areas. With electricity available, any member of the family can broaden the kinds of activities they do in these places, and do them at any hour of the day and night – making these extensions true outdoor living spaces.

 

There are a few things homeowners should keep in mind upon deciding to go this route.

 

Hire a professional electrician for the job.

 

There are many do-it-yourself manuals on how to install outdoor electrical outlets. However, even homeowners with electrical know-how should best leave the tasks involved – connecting wires, rewiring, drilling, tapping into circuits, and testing – to professional electricians. This would help ensure every alteration is up to safety standards.

 

Have only GCFI outlets installed.

 

GCFI is short for “ground-fault circuit interrupter.” This kind of outlet features built-in monitors of electric flow, which detect sudden or abnormal surges in current. Once a GCFI spots this, it shuts down the circuit, cutting off electrical flow to prevent wires from burning and starting fires.

 

Faulty and frayed wiring are also a major cause of electrical fires. Since outdoor circuits are more exposed to the wear, tear, and watery conditions that break down wires, GCFI outlets are all the more recommended for patios, decks, and the like.

 

Plan outlet needs and uses wisely.

 

Outlets in outdoor living spaces not only allow the use of lights, heaters, or cooling appliances, thereby enabling homeowners to spend time outside at any hour and in any temperature. As said, wiring outdoor spaces expands the range of activities homeowners can do in them. Additional activities could include cooking, watching movies or television, listening to music or playing music for parties, or even late-night reading.

 

Planning exactly how many outlets are needed, plus where to put them, also helps ensure safety in outdoor spaces. It prevents the overuse of extension cords – and tripping over too many plugs!

Source:

How does a GCFI outlet work? HowStuffWorks.com.

Let a Trusted Electrician Install a GFCI Outlet for Your Home’s Safety

You might think that your home is already safe, but you can always make it safer. For the areas at home that come in contact with water, like the kitchen or the bathroom, installing a traditional outlet isn’t enough. Promote safety from electric shock by installing a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, which is specifically designed for use in homes.

What It Does

Outlets are always at risk of a “ground fault”, which happens when there is a conducting connection between any electric conductor and any conducting material, whether intentional or accidental. This is where the GFCI comes in: once it senses a disturbance in current, it immediately breaks the electrical circuit and shuts off the energy flow.

Though GFCI outlets are preferred mostly because of their faster reaction, these also help in reducing the risk of electrical fires and damage to electrical appliances. It even provides additional protection when it shares a circuit with other traditional outlets.

Checking the GFCI

Though preferred by most homeowners, many of them fail to check their GFCIs regularly. Like most electrical devices, GFCIs are susceptible to wear and tear. That’s why electrical experts recommend that GFCIs should be tested monthly to confirm that these are working properly. To test its functionality, simply push the “test” button and see if the reset button pops out and the appliance shuts off.

Installing a GFCI

The receptacle-type GFCI outlet is the one most homeowners are most familiar with, though there are other options available. Installing one into your home is never a DIY project, as it may cause serious injuries if done improperly. That’s why you should always entrust this job to a licensed electrician.

Sources:
What is a GFCI Outlet?, Angie’s List
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), SafeElectricity.org

Electrician Tips: How to Keep Your House Cooler with Ceiling Fans

In the heat of summer, you naturally want to keep your home interior as cool as possible. But operating the air conditioner on ‘max’ leads to very expensive electric bills, so you need to complement your AC use with other cooling measures to keep your bills from spiraling out of control. One of the best ways to do so is to have a ceiling fan. With a ceiling fan circulating the cold air in your home, you can keep your AC at low settings, allowing you to keep cool while saving a lot of money over time.

Of course you can earn even more savings by doing some careful planning with your ceiling fan use. Here are some tips and tricks you can try:

Continue reading “Electrician Tips: How to Keep Your House Cooler with Ceiling Fans”

Choosing the Right Electrician to Work With

Despite the general love for all things DIY, many Americans actually prefer calling the professionals when it comes to tackling home electrical. Considering that every home runs on electricity, there’s indeed a lot of work out there for skilled electricians to perform. However, if you’re not careful with your selection, you could end up working with an unskilled or even an unscrupulous electrician who could do more harm than good. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Electrician to Work With”