2018 is rapidly approaching - what’s on your New Year's Resolution list? In addition to all those ‘health and wellness’ resolutions surrounding exercise, diet and weight loss, how about adding a little electrical health and wellness to your vows?
Steel Your Resolve, Keeping these New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home in 2018:
You know your daily foray through the drive-thru is bad for you… And these things are likewise bad for your home. Make banishing them a part of your resolution promises to ensure a safe and Happy New Year for yourself and your family…
- Cord overload.
Daisy-chaining extension cords and power strips and overloading outlets is a massive fire hazard. If you need additional outlet space, add it. Outlets cost far less than a single lost appliance (or worse, home fire).
- Harboring the ‘dust bunny’ family.
It may be ‘no fun’ to ferret out dust bunnies surrounding appliances and electrical cords, but these piles of dust are quick to ignite and a huge fire hazard.
- Suffering detector delusions.
Don’t lie. You know you haven’t changed the batteries on your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors since you bought your home. And since they’re the ones that were installed when it was built, they’re likely in need of an upgrade. Make replacing detector batteries monthly a priority, and check all models for expiration dates: Every 10 years for smoke detectors, every 3-5 years for carbon monoxide.
- Laptop laziness.
Placing your laptop (and other devices) atop flammable surfaces like beds and rugs can cause heat to buildup, damaging these expensive electronics and resulting in fire.
- Getting too cozy with electric blankets.
Cranking up the heat, piling items atop electric blankets, and constant, unattended operation can lead to fires. Be warmth-wise, operating your blanket at night, on the lowest setting, turning it off when not in use.
- Out of sight, out of mind appliance operation.
With the exception of the crockpot, cooking on your stove, running the dryer, dishwasher, and other appliances should be done under supervision. Leaving the house with these running is a big no-no.
- A lack of water wisdom.
The GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets that power your hairdryer should be tested monthly to safeguard you from potentially hair-raising experiences in moisture-prone areas of your home. Don’t have any? These outlets have been required for protection against electrocution by national safety codes since the 70s in the bath, and 80s in kitchens. What decade are you waiting for?
- Living in the dark on surge protection.
Purchasing the latest appliances and electronics and plugging them into a home with neither primary nor secondary purge protection is like playing Russian roulette. Surges are common, and today’s sensor-laden electronics increasingly sensitive to them. Whole-house and outlet based surge protection are a must-have for all appliances and electronics in today’s era.
- Sending your lighting dollars up in smoke.
LED light bulbs use 75% energy and last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescents. How about simply swapping out a few bulbs and being a little less wasteful this New Year?
- Sending your lighting fixture (or extension cord) up in smoke.
While we’re on the topic of lights, bulb wattages aren’t one-size-fits-all – and neither are extension cords. Check the wattage limits on all bulb sockets and gauges on extension cords to prevent electrical fires. (We promise, they’re on there). A 100-watt bulb CANNOT be substituted into a 60-watt maximum fixture. And the larger the appliance, the larger the gauge extension cord is typically needed.
Kiss your electrical issues goodbye this New Year. Contact Mr. Electric for a free safety inspection today.