Spring Cleaning: Clean Up Your Electrical Hazards
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Posted March 11, 2018
When we hear spring cleaning, we often think of dusting, mopping and general tidying up, but it’s also the perfect time to work on other home maintenance projects that might have been neglected. When you clean up your electrical hazards, you can reinvigorate your home as well as clear out any potential for future electrical issues. Wipe away the winter blues and prepare for the new season with a little spring cleaning to refresh and re-energize your home.
Move Any Misplaced Cords
It’s always best to keep cords out of the middle of the floor to prevent a tripping hazard. But don’t forget, it’s also a good idea to remove any cords running under carpet, rugs, doorways, in bushes, hanging up, and especially move them far away from water. Keeping wires out of the way will prevent an electrical fire hazard from occurring. Extension cords aren’t intended to provide a long-term solution, and if you find you’re often using them that way, then you are putting your entire electrical system at risk. If you don’t want to relocate appliances, then have a licensed technician install an additional outlet in your home.
Inspect Any Cords
While ensuring proper placement is a good first step, making sure that all of your cords and wiring are in good shape will go along way. Besides the danger of electrocution, damaged or worn out cables can turn into a real fire hazard. Carefully inspect your plugs, outlets, and cords to ensure everything is in good working condition. Check for any signs of damage such as frayed wiring or loose plugs. If you happen to find any damaged, then you’ll need to have them replaced immediately by an electrical technician. This also includes making sure that none of your extension cords or power strips are over-plugged and overloaded. Keep plugins to a minimum where you can to save on your monthly bill and prevent tripping your breaker.
Utilize GFCIs for Appliances
GFCIs come in handy if your appliance is ever in contact with water or malfunctions. By shutting off immediately in one of these incidents, GFCIs help you avoid any possible electrical shock from taking place. Discover the benefits of this safety mechanism in our blog post on GFCIs and AFCIs. Also, check for any faulty outlets or circuits. If you’ve noticed any discolored or warm outlets or circuits that trip frequently, contact your local electrical professional to inspect your home.
Clean Off Your Stove Exhaust Hood
After consecutively cooking indoors for the past few months, spring cleaning is the perfect time to take a look at your exhaust hood. Food debris, oil, and dust can build up inside this space and result in a home fire. To clean it: remove the hood, clean the filter, use a degreaser on any exposed surfaces and replace the hood.
Replace Unsuitable Light Bulbs
In order to be eco-friendly, many people switched to longer lasting CFL bulbs, but misuse of these bulbs can result in home fires. You should not be using these bulbs in pot lights, dimmers, recessed lighting or track lighting. If you have a dimmer, then you must use a bulb approved for dimming. If you are using the right kind of light bulb, make sure that it is also the correct wattage for your light or fixture. When the wattage is too high, it puts your light at risk of damage or fire. Check out our blog post on common electrical issues and solutions for more ways to identify light related electrical hazards in your home.
Be Aware When Doing Yard Work
The springtime brings blooms of many new flowers and greenery. It also brings a chance for new landscaping, but don’t get overly eager in your yard work. Plan before starting any major project. This means watch out for underground power lines, and take proper precaution when digging in your yard. There may be buried wires, piping, or gas or water mains located where you plan to dig. Contact your power and utility company before moving forward with any significant digs. They will inform you of any potential hazards on your property. Additionally, don’t forget the overhead lines when you are trimming those trees. Always look up and out before proceeding.
The easiest way to avoid unwanted electrical hazards is by having your home inspected annually by an electrical specialist who is trained to seek out and help you clean up electrical hazards. This service visit could potentially save you a lot of time and money to prevent an electrical home fire. If you’re worried you’ll forget to have your home inspected or you’d prefer a greater peace of mind, then you may want to consider signing up for a home maintenance plan. Have preventative maintenance done without shelling out the big bucks and know that your home will be in good hands. For more spring cleaning tips and lists, check out our blog on pre-spring cleaning or a whole home spring-cleaning to ensure you have taken care of your home.