With every new year comes room for another year of memories and even some unexpected problems. Don’t let easy and doable tasks for safekeeping your home’s electrical system cause strife in your household. Here are some simple resolutions to prepare you for the upcoming year.
1. Add Inexpensive Door and Window Alarms
Keeping doors and windows locked is your first line of defense. Make wireless alarms your second. Alarms are available at home centers; they don’t provide the same security as professionally installed monitored systems (like those available from the best electricians in Benicia, CA) since door or windows opening activate the wireless devices. Use the alarms for doors and windows in hidden areas of the house. Attach the alarm to the door or window alongside the magnetic contact strip. When the door or window opens, breaking magnetic contact, the alarm goes off. The alarms will work on any door or window, and the batteries last two to three years.
2. Schedule a Home Inspection
Start the year off with a professional electrical inspection. Have your electrical system professionally inspected to ensure potential problems are diagnosed before they become costly repairs. An inspection will also catch potentially hazardous situations including frayed or inadequately installed wiring. Consider getting an energy audit. The audit includes a series of tests that tell you the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and the overall efficiency of your home. The auditor will recommend low-cost improvements to save energy and larger upgrades that will pay you back within five to seven years. If you set one up through your utility company, you may be eligible for a rebate.
3. Check Your Smoke & CO2 Alarms
Make sure your household is safe from fire and carbon dioxide poisoning by checking the batteries. December through March are the peak months for home fire fatalities, so now is a good time for double and triple checking. If you don’t have alarms for either every floor or for every room, it is probably a good idea to make those purchases for the New Year.
4. Understand Your Home’s Electrical Load
Your home’s electrical system is more than just a bunch of wires. The electrical system consists of the line from the pole, a meter where electrical usage is tallied, the main breaker panel, separate wiring circuits to all the rooms in the home, outlets, light fixture boxes, and various hard-wired appliances. A basic understanding of your home’s electrical load is essential knowledge for homeowners. Evaluate your home’s load, how to add capacity, how to understand the size of your load, and how to inspect a service panel.
5. Practice Electrical Safety
Mount a simple plug-in surge suppressor at each electronic device to give good protection from surges generated within your home wiring system and fair protection from large surges from outside. Always remove a plug from a socket by pulling the plug itself, not the appliance cord. Pulling on the cord can break or fray the wires inside, and frayed cords can cause a short circuit fire hazard or electric shock. Running appliance or fixture cords under a carpet is dangerous. A cord carrying too much current can overheat, or a frayed cord can cause a short. Both situations can result in a fire. Frayed electrical cords should be repaired or replaced. Lastly, overloading an outlet can be caused by plugging in or using too many appliances at one time. If you must use a multiple-outlet power strip, use one with a built-in circuit breaker for overload protection.
Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?
At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. If you are in the Benicia or Fairfield, California area, contact us today at (800) 945-0268 (here is a map to us) to have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult where our techs analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be! Remember, if it’s electrical, we do it!