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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 5,300 fires each year across American households, caused by electrical faults and resulting in around 40 fatalities, and 100 injuries. In addition, 65 percent of deaths from fire in the home are down to inoperable smoke detectors. And between 2012 and 2016, there were 35,000 deaths in America because people had unknown faulty lighting and electrical work, says the National Fire Prevention Association.
The electrical services you employ in your home are, therefore, crucial to the maintenance of your property and the safety of you and your family. That’s why Spring isn’t just the time of year for cleaning out your home or to declutter, it’s also a great time to undertake a complete electrical health check. As an electrical services company covering the Myrtle Beach, SC, area, Mister Sparky can perform a full checklist for you as a professional diagnosis will give you peace of mind. In any case, here are a few things that a Spring checklist could encompass.
Should the worst happen and there is a fire in your home, you’ll want to know about it. Smoke detectors and also carbon monoxide testers are, therefore, an important element in your home’s setup. Every now and then you’ll want to check they are working, a simple enough test, which for a smoke detector is done via a test button on each unit. An alarm will sound if the unit is working. If the alarm is not working, the problem may be something simple such as the need to replace the unit’s batteries. You can go ahead and change them and retest the alarm. If it still does not work, you will require electrical services to inspect the units and replace them if needed. Test them each month to be sure, and replace your carbon monoxide alarms every five years. Mister Sparky’s services can do this for you.
Outlets and Wiring
The tell tale signs of an electrical fault are often visual and easily identifiable. Discolored or slightly burnt outlets, for instance, can be a cautionary sign of defective electrics. Worn out wires as well are a solid signal to call in electrical services for a full inspection and to repair any faulty outlets and wiring. Also, particularly if you have an older property, you should check that you have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) installed, which will cause the electrics to trip in the event of a ground fault, preventing shocks or electrical surges. A ground fault occurs when an electrical wire touches a ground wire. An electrical service company can install GCFIs in your home. You’ll want to ensure large appliances like washer-dryers or refrigerators are plugged into a GFCI, and don’t forget to include these types of electrical equipment in your routine Spring check.
Check Your Vents
This might not be an obvious one but your Spring checklist should not forget the air conditioning units, the heaters, or anything with filters and vents. This is because dust and debris can easily collect around these and fall into the units. If these accumulate it can be a fire hazard in your home. You may find it a good idea to, therefore, periodically remove any filters and wash or replace them before they get too dirty. Dust around vents and make sure there’s nothing blocking them.
Inside and Out
Once you’ve completed an indoor survey of your home, check its exterior. Outlets on the outside of your home should be covered, to protect them from the elements, and like your interior outlets, they should be in good condition – fraying or discoloration should prompt action and the solicitation of an electrical services company. Pay special attention to any outdoor lighting that may have been damaged from strong winds or extreme weather conditions, which can occur periodically in Myrtle Beach, SC. As a rule, any electrical equipment such as gardening tools should be stored away.
Any trees in your backyard should also be clear of the neighborhood electricity lines. If they get tangled up or you notice any severed wires, call for service immediately to address the situation.
Seasons can come with particular electrical challenges, including more electricity usage via air conditioning units and heating. As this is a universal thing, regional electricity grids can become overwhelmed, which can result in electrical surges. Conversely, it can result in power outages as well. The former can be dangerous, and the latter will be an inconvenience. To avoid both scenarios, ask your local electrical services company to install surge protection – this is something Mister Sparky can assist with – which can be added right on the electrical panel to protect the whole house from surges in power. For your own assurance, you may also want to keep an emergency flashlight and generator at the ready, in the case of an outage.
Get a Professional Audit
While performing your own checks are useful, the help of professional electrical services could be vital and even life saving. Electrical services can survey your whole home and perform an energy audit, which not only can identify potential hazards, but it can also pinpoint areas you can conserve energy and save money.
In any event, an annual check on your outlets with the help of electrical services will protect you and your family and should not be delayed.
Mister Sparky can provide its expertise and professionalism any time of day and will perform your checks, and carry out any installations or repairs in a timely manner.
If you live locally or in any of Mister Sparky’s service areas, consider calling us today for your Spring checklist.