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The 3 most common electrical hazards in your home


Water and Electricity

Electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Most people know the importance to keep away from mixing the two, but unfortunately many people still reach for their electric razors and other electric grooming tools with wet hands or while still in the shower. Luckily, new homes today typically come with GFCI outlets. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is an electrical device installed to protect against severe electric shocks. GFCI’s could also reduce electrocutions and minimize electrical burns and shock injuries. A GFCI integrates a ground fault protection in receptacles where electrical equipment is near water or might be in contact with water.  

If your home is however older, it may not have GFCI’s. Consider having GFCI’s installed by a qualified electrician. Ensure your hands are dry when unplugging anything electric and avoid the use of all electrical tools while near or in water (bath, sinks, pools etc.).

Extension Cords

The purpose of extension cords is for temporary use. Typically extension cords are used  to provide electricity to a small appliance in a specific area in or outside the home for a short duration of time. Unfortunately, it’s become the quick and easy solution where these cords are more frequently used and as a permanent fix. Extension cords are not designed for long term or big electrical load use. Many appliances warn the use of extension cords to protect from damage as these cords typically can’t handle the appliance’s electrical load. Cheaply made extension cords can cause fire hazards (by overloading that leads to overheating). What’s the best solution?  Have your electrician install another outlet where needed.

Unplugged or faulty Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

“In the event of a fire, a smoke detector is your first line of defense” (Fire Chief Ken Block, Edmonton). It alerts you to take immediate action! Unfortunately, some homeowners unplug their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for several reasons; sometimes a simple toaster can set off a nearby detector and rather than replacing the appliance or relocating it, they unplug the smoke and carbon monoxide detector and forget to plug it in. More common and unfortunate cases are when smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are not operating properly.  Sometimes they are expired, the sensors are clogged with dust or never tested. It is important to take preventative and safety measures seriously by scheduling a yearly check up to all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Ensure detectors are properly functional and located on all floors of the home.  Call your electrician to test and hard-wire all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home; hard-wiring these detectors acts as a back-up should batteries fail.

Have any questions about residential or commercial electrical safety? If so, give 4-Star Electric a call and talk to a Master electrician at 403-248-0037 Or fill out our Contact page and we’ll be sure to follow up with you.

Written by 4-Star Electric

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