Electricity to the home, much like good service, goes unnoticed until it isn’t there – and we’re not even talking about load shedding! We take for granted that a flick of a switch will result in the room being lit up or the water being boiled.
Giving your electrical wellness a once-over on the odd occasion can go a long way to ensuring that your home stays powered up. There are a few easy-to-do inspections that should become routine in your home, which will save you frustration and unwanted costs in the future.
Check your cords and cables
Be mindful of electrical cords/cables, such as those attached to your kettle or your microwave. Look for any damage to the cable, which could include fraying, sharp kinks and small openings in the protective covering. If you can see the wires inside your cable due to any damage, then you will want to replace them.
The same applies to extension cords. Did you know that extension cords are meant to be a temporary solution? In most homes, they behave as permanent fixtures, providing power to otherwise remote areas. If you do use extension cords on a more permanent basis, please check them regularly. Some of these cords pass through doorways and windows or under carpets, which can quickly become a fire hazard. Check for wear and tear and any sharp kinks in the cord, which could indicate a break in the wires inside the cord or cause extra heat buildup.
Secure is safer
Another often overlooked electrical check is ensuring that all plugs, light fittings and switches are securely in place. If a plug does not fit snugly into the outlet, then the outlet should be replaced or repaired. The same can be said for light fittings and light switches. Having ill-fitted light switches and fittings can pose a severe hazard in your home and can cause damage to you, your home or your loved ones.
Your DB board should also be secure. If you have any unused slots in your board, they should be covered with blank covers. This isn’t an aesthetic choice: those covers prevent dust, pests, small creatures and curious fingers from getting close to the wires.
Do you have any switches that are stuck in the on position? This could be due to age, or you have an appliance you always want to be on, so you taped the switch down. Turning an instrument off before unplugging it or plugging it back in is always safer. Some devices might have a safety mechanism that turns the button to the off position, which could lead to an electrical fire.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might have sockets and switches that don’t work. Do you have a mysterious switch that doesn’t turn any lights on or off when used? Or a socket that doesn’t provide power, so you used an extension cord instead? These dead switches and sockets could be harmless, but they might still be connected to your DB board, with broken wire in the ceiling or walls. This could cause a short circuit, so get them tested and repaired.
Pay attention to your senses
We know that you don’t own a multimeter, and you may not want to go around the house doing diagnostics! But you don’t need extra equipment to notice some electrical issues. Keep an eye out for flickering lights and tiny sparks. You can also listen for buzzing switches and sockets. They may feel warm to the touch. And if you smell burning and can’t work out where the smell is coming from, it could be wires or their protective covering burning in the walls. If you can smell rubber or plastic burning, call an electrician!
So be an electrically responsible citizen, and save yourself the frustration and cost. Ensure that regular inspections of these simple electrical aspects are undertaken. If in doubt, please get in touch with us, and we’ll gladly assist. Dial 087 55 11 000 today and a friendly Titan Electrical service professional will provide expert advice and service tailored to your needs.