Home Electrical Safety
You use electricity every day. For that reason, it’s easy to forget that your home electrical system carries risks if used improperly.
Did you know there are about 51,000 home electrical fires annually, resulting in approximately $1.3 billion in property damage, 1,400 injuries, and 500 deaths, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)?
AiRCO Mechanical’s team of Round Rock experts puts safety first, whether we’re performing a replacement, repair, or maintenance. Whether our Texas customers need assistance with their air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace, you can count on us to do the job right.
What Can I Do to Stay Safe Indoors?
- Use indoor extension cords and power strips safely.
Extension cords and power strips provide an added convenience—but don’t let them replace outlets. Never run extension cords under carpets. Additionally, replace any cords that become damaged. Finally, never use a power strip to run a high-voltage appliance (a space heater, for example). This poses a serious fire risk. If your home needs more places to plug in your appliances, call AiRCO Mechanical. Our electricians can install safe outlets that meet your home needs.
- Install circuit interrupters.
Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are critical to home electrical safety. They can swiftly cut off circulation if they detect irregularities (faults) in the electrical current. This protects from electrical shock and fires. Need circuit interrupters? Our Round Rock-certified electricians can install GFCIs and AFCIs in all the appropriate places, ensuring your home is fully protected.
- Use outlets safely and correctly.
Remember this rule: one appliance per outlet. Plugging multiple high-power units into one outlet can cause an electrical overload. Additionally, you should have tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs) installed—they have been a requirement in all new and renovated homes since 2008 under the National Electric Code (NEC). TRRs have built-in shutters that block foreign objects from being inserted into the plug, keeping kids safe.
What Can I Do to Stay Safe Outdoors?
- Use outdoor extension cords and power strips safely.
As with indoor cords, replace extension cables that become frayed or otherwise damaged. Also, ensure any extensions you use in your yard are marked “for outdoor use.” Indoor extension cables don’t have the proper insulation or moisture protection to withstand the elements. That means they can short out, melt or crack, resulting in shock or electrical fire.
- Practice caution with your power tools.
Any tools you use outside need to be stored inside where children can’t access them. Additionally, it’s important to check that the tools are marked “for outdoor use.” Like indoor cables, indoor tools aren’t built to withstand the Texas environment.
- Be wary of utility lines and equipment.
While it doesn’t belong to you, it’s important to minimize risks posed by utility company electrical equipment on and around your property. Trim back any shrubbery and remove debris around your electric meter. Additionally, have a professional tree-trimming service inspect your yard for any risks to nearby electrical lines.
In the event of a downed wire, remember the following:
- Always presume any wire you spot is live and can cause a lethal shock. Never touch a wire.
- Keep your distance—at least 10 feet away from any overhead wiring.
- If you spot a downed line, call your Texas utility company immediately.