Welcome to Lucas Electrical Service Saftey Inspections. Electrical Hazards!
By recognizing electrical hazards that may be present in your home, you can protect your family, home and assets from damage caused by electrical surges.
To prevent such damage, consider using electrical surge protection systems and investing in Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs), and follow some general prevention tips.
Each year many consumers are injured in and around their homes. Unsafe conditions such as overloaded circuits and damaged wire insulation as well as the misuse of extension cords and other electrical products create fire and electric shock hazards.
Take a few minutes to look for and correct electrical safety hazards in your home. It does not take too long to check the insulation on a cord, move an appliance away from water, check for correct wattage light bulbs, or have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCls) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) installed. On the other hand, it sometimes takes a lifetime to overcome severe electrical injuries that can result from overlooking these simple things.
In a number of cases of electrical-related home structure fires, homes ranging from 40 to 100 years old had not been inspected since they were built. Just like any product, electrical systems gradually deteriorate with use, abuse, age and increased demand. Systems installed in the 70s and earlier likely never anticipated the demand we place on them today. To ensure the electrical safety of your home, your electrical inspection should be up-to-date, defects corrected, and service upgraded to meet present and foreseeable demands. Lucas Electrical Service recommends asking the following questions to determine whether you need to have your home electrically inspected:
Is your home 40 years old or older?
Has your home had a major addition or renovation or major new appliance added, such as a refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner or electric furnace, in the last 10 years?
Are you the new owner of a previously owned home?
Do your lights often flicker or dim momentarily?
Do your circuit breakers trip or fuses blow often?
Are your outlet and light switch face plates hot to the touch or discolored?
Do you hear crackling, sizzling or buzzing from your outlets?
Do you have extension cords and multiple power strips permanently in use around the house?
If you answer yes to any one of the above questions, you should consider having Lucas Electrical Service conduct an electrical inspection of your home.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)
AFCIs are able to detect certain types of dangerous arcing conditions. They look and work just like conventional circuit breakers and fit into electrical panels in the same way. Not only do they protect against overloads and short circuits, but they also electronically sense arcing.
Consider using AFCIs in older homes that may have aged or damaged electrical wire insulation. It may also be wise for newly constructed houses to have an AFCI due to electrical wires that may have been damaged by nails and screws that are concealed inside walls and ceilings.
Extension cords are a temporary, not permanent, wiring solution.
Avoid overheating by using extension cords of the proper size for the load they will carry and by using cords as short as practical.
Regularly check cords for damage and never repair by splicing.
Avoid using "octopus plugs" which allow many cords to be plugged into a single receptacle.
Using electrical current and electrical equipment can lead to several hazards including electric shock, heat, and fire.
Electric Shock Hazard
When a person becomes part of an electric circuit, they are a conductor of the electrical current. Since electricity cannot be seen, the hazard is often overlooked until too late. Bodily injury and death can occur. Contact with an electrical current can be fatal a person.
Electricity can be fatal. Be careful!
Current flowing through the body will affect the body in some manner. A slight tingling sensation may be felt. A shock may be felt which can result in muscular contractions that can “knock” the victim away from the circuit. Electric shock may “lock” the muscles to where release from the circuit is impossible. In severe cases, heart muscle rhythms are disrupted and death results.
Electrical current also produces heat which can burn body tissues both externally and internally.
Heat and Fire
Electricity can be the source of heat to ignite flammable materials. Current flow in a conductor produces heat because of the conductor’s resistance to the flow of electricity. Increased heat in electrical conductors can be expected when: • The wire size is too small to carry the current (trying to run an electric motor on a lamp cord) • The electrical load is too great (operating a hair dryer, curling iron, and toaster on the same circuit) • The electrical load is too far away from the electrical source (a 1/2 hp electric drill motor operated at the end of a100- foot extension cord) • The electrical connections are loose, and increased resistance develops.
New Home Inspections:
I met with clients who just moved into their brand-new home. An HVAC technician had been in the attic and received a terrible electrical shock from a loose wire. Upon inspection, I found a 20-amp 240-volt conductor was severed causing a hazard. Fortunately for the HVAC technician the attic space was large enough so he could get away from the wire and fortunately for the homeowner the sparks did not ignite and create a fire.
Rely upon Lucas Electrical Service when quality and expertise matters. Remember, exceptional service is our standard.
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