Home ownership comes with a great list of responsibilities, just one of which is protecting your home and family from the dangers of electricity. While we depend on it every day, electricity—when used improperly or when used with damaged or poorly installed equipment—can pose a great threat.
Within the long list of maintenance tasks homeowners must assume is a whole section regarding electricity. Some of them are simple:
- Use the test button on outlets with arc fault circuit indicators (AFCI) and ground fault circuit indicators (GFCI) to make sure they are functioning properly. These devices are designed to protect you.
- Be mindful of overhead power lines when using ladders.
- Ensure your power outlets are tamper-resistant. These outlets only allow something to be plugged in if it enters both prong holes simultaneously.
- Ensure outdoor lights and outlets are free of leaves and debris.
- Use safety caps with unused outlets.
- When using corded yard equipment, always inspect the cord prior to use for damage and don’t let the cord drag through standing water. Do not use the cord if it is damaged.
- Replace any broken electrical outlets or switch covers.
- Before doing any digging, be sure to call 8-1-1 or visit NDonecall.com to get underground utility lines in your yard marked.
If you notice any of the following issues, it’s time to call a professional electrician to keep your home and family safe:
- Frequent power outages or tripped breakers that are not related to utility issues.
- Consistently dim or flickering lights.
- Arcing, sparking, or shocks from outlets or switches.
- Odd noises (snapping or crackling) or noticeable heat from outlets or switches.