Every home has its quirks and interesting traits that give it character. Depending on the year it was built and the style in which it was designed, some things might seem a little strange, especially the older the house gets.
One thing that has changed over time is the way the electrical system in a house has been designed and installed. For example, when electricity first became common in homes, the system used was called knob and tube. These days, however, knob and tube is considered a hazard and has been all but phased out thanks to advances in safety, efficiency, and technology.
Understanding your home’s electrical system is important knowledge to have. And there are certain basics that every homeowner should know in order to prevent problems and to solve them if they arise.
So, we came up with a guide we call: Electrical Safety Tips for your Home.
Check your home’s age
Of course you should know what year your house was built in. If your home is older, you might notice that there aren’t as many original electrical outlets as there are in new homes. The simple explanation is that there just weren’t as many electrical appliances to plug in “back in the day.”
If your home is older, it might not be able to handle the electrical needs of today. Adding power bars so that you can use more electricity is not necessarily a good solution as it might overload the system and cause a fire hazard. Therefore it’s a good idea to call in an electrical technician to see if the output is able to keep up with the demands.
Know your panels and breakers
Not all panels are high quality and a low quality panel could pose electrical hazards that could lead to a fire. Your electric panel should never feel hot to the touch.
Breakers, too, need some attention. If you find that they are tripping often, take some time to understand how the circuits are working. Tripped breakers are telling you that the electrical output is too much to handle. Making sure everything is accurately labeled will help you know what is happening and where, so that you can make adjustments if needed.
Keep a safety plan in place
Make sure that everyone in your home knows how to get out in case of a fire. Whether it is through a window or a door, everyone should feel comfortable with a plan in place. Also make sure that everyone knows where the fire extinguishers are and that they are filled and checked regularly. You can never be too safe when it comes to having a preparedness plan.
Observe flickers and check for heat
When lights flicker or outlets feel hot to the touch, these are warning signs that the electrical system if your home is not working optimally. While all it might take is a small adjustment, it also could be a warning sign of a larger problem.
If you notice that the electrical system is not working quite right, call in a professional to come and have a look. It might be as simple as grounding your appliances or installing some new and updated outlets.
Part of being a responsible home owner is taking the time to understand the systems in the house that keep it running, especially the electrical system. While massive improvements have been made over the years, there will always be an element of danger to live electricity, so it is up to you to ensure the safety of your home and the people who live there.
And it’s important to remember that if you are experiencing electrical problems, never hesitate to call in a professional. DIY electrical work should not be attempted without the extensive knowledge and training that certified electricians possess. At BPM Electrical, we are happy to serve Surrey and the Lower Mainland in helping solve electrical issues so that you can rest assured that your home is safe.