In today’s world, the technology-dependent digital age, electricity is considered perhaps one of the most essential commodities a household or business can have. It is the base utility that most people consider necessary in order to function with all of the gadgets we use these days. But with so much dependence on electricity, we need to make sure that it is working properly. When electrical problems arise, it doesn’t simply interfere with our electronics, it can be potentially dangerous. And even the most electronic-savvy person might not get all of the connections right. There are plenty of reasons to use a professional electrician when it comes to electrical repairs. So when is it alright to fiddle with the electricity on your own, and when should you call an electrician?
When should you call an electrician?
If your home outlets don’t have the grounding three-prong plugs or if most of your outlets are feeding multi-receptacle power strips, you are looking at some pretty good indicators that your house’s electrical system may not be built for the power that your family uses. Overloading your outlets is never a good idea. Every year, $1.5 billion in property damage is caused by electrical fires. In 2011 alone, around 47,700 house fires reported to fire departments in the U.S. had something to do with an electrical malfunction or failure that contributed to the start of the fire. And fire isn’t the only electrical danger. Every year there are around 300 electrocutions in a home somewhere in the country. By calling one of the approximately 583,500 electricians working in the U.S., you can avoid these dangers by having them install circuit interrupters. There are two main circuit interrupters that help keep your home safe.
Ground fault circuit interrupters essentially help to prevent electric shock. They have sensors that balance the current, and shut down the circuit if that current is broken, or unbalanced. The Consumer Product Safety Commission approximates that GFCIs could prevent over two-thirds of the electrocutions that happen in the home.
Arc fault circuit interrupters help to prevent fires. Their sensors determine if electricity is leaking from the system where it shouldn’t and power shuts down so that the system doesn’t overheat. These are recommended on bedroom circuits, and smoke detectors should be prevalent throughout the home as well.
Good for your safety, and easier on your wallet and the environment
Apart from obvious electrical emergency repairs or issues, home energy efficiency is a prime answer to the question of when should you call an electrician. Many older homes were built to just barely handle a minimum amount of electricity, before the boom that called for basically everything to be plugged in. But the idea of efficiency in the home has to do with more than just outlets and wiring. Good insulation and properly sealed ducts, rooms and appliances can make a world of difference on your energy bill.