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Electrical  /  October 20, 2022

Calgary Handyman: 5 Electrical Hazards in the Home

Electrical hazards in the home

It doesn’t take much for an electrical system to malfunction. An electrician in Calgary can help you apply the right attention to safety and detail to avoid injury and fire. Look for common electrical hazards such as ground faults, old and frayed wiring, using bulbs with the wrong wattage, and outlets that are overloaded or unprotected against surges and moisture.

1. Ground Faults

Electricity’s number one imperative is to find the ground. When circuits are installed correctly, electricity easily uses the path through which it has been designed to flow. But with improper installation or wear and tear over time, an electrical current escapes its dedicated path and jumps onto a person or source of water. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) can reduce the risk of electrocution by sensing an unexpected change in the current and shutting off the power.

2. Old Wiring

When wires become frayed and their insulated housing shows rips and tears, electricity is more likely to escape the safety sheath. Professional electrical repair services know how to install wires correctly. With older homes, however, there may have been different safety codes at the time, or multiple homeowners may have attempted DIY solutions. Trust a professional to inspect your wiring for compatibility with modern protocols and to recommend upgrades where necessary.

3. Wrong Light Bulb Wattage

It is important to read the fine print of your ballast, socket and light bulb. If your bulb exceeds the maximum wattage rating of the lamp or fixture, it will pull too much power and will overload the internal composition of the lamp. This can cause sparks, smoke, and overcharged metal casings. Find the sticker on your light fixture that displays the maximum wattage. When adding new lights, make sure your electrical circuitry can handle the added load.

4. Overloaded Outlets

Notice the number of amperes that an electrical outlet can handle. Most circuits have a limit of 15 amps. This means that if you are using multiple plugs for the same outlet without a plug strip or surge protector, you are increasing the risk of fire and short circuits. Power strips are better at distributing the amps through the circuits. Using too many plugs causes overload. Remember not to “daisy chain” plug strips as this will cause the same overload that the plug strip is originally intended to avoid. Another solution is to unplug any cords that you are not actively using. Then, the energy can be efficiently reallocated to plugs that are drawing power.

5. Unprotected Outlets

All outlets in your home should be fitted with plug protectors so that the plug gaps that connect inside the wall are not open to receiving foreign objects. Small children put their fingers and metal objects into the slots, which causes electrical damage and injury. You can purchase individual inserts for each outlet at your home electrical store, or, for a safer and more permanent solution, you can have a professional install tamper-resistant outlets which will fully protect your children from shock and electrocution. Hinged outlet covers are also popular. They automatically close securely when the outlet is not being used.

A Trusted Electrician in Calgary

Electrical rewiring and upgrades are best done by a professional. With over 30 years of experience, Handyman Connection is a #7 National Remodeler and #1 Handyman according to Qualified Remodeler magazine. We continue to win awards and cherish the loyalty of our customers. Our clear documentation of all steps of the process and our polite, professional demeanour have set us apart from other contractors in the Calgary area. Broken outlets, loose light switches and outdated fixtures are no match for us. Contact us today for free project consultation and estimate.

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