Electrical Safety Tips
Keep Your Distance
Understanding how electricity works will enable you to use it safely around the home. Here are facts and tips that will help you avoid electrical hazards and injuries.
Electricity always seeks the path of least resistance. It tries to find a conductor, such as metal, wet sod, wet wood, water ... or even your body. Your body is 70 percent water. So if you touch an energized bare wire or faulty appliance while you are grounded, electricity will instantly pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful-or fatal-shock.
Most service panels have a main switch. Use it to cut all power when changing a breaker switch, or in case of fire or shock. If you don't have a main switch, turn off all circuit breakers. Don't tamper with your electric meter. You'll risk electrocution, explosion or fire.
• Do fuses blow or circuit breakers trip often?
• Do toasters or irons not get as hot as they should?
• Does your TV picture shrink when appliances go on?
• Do you use extension cords because there aren't enough outlets?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, Please let Tucson Air Conditioning and Home Maintenance inspected and repair it for you.
Prevent Electrical Shocks
When you use a plug with three prongs, the third prong connects inside the outlet with a "ground wire," which usually connects to a water pipe or a ground rod at the service panel. As a result, in a short circuit, electricity should flow to the ground instead of through you. Never remove the third prong.
A ground fault occurs when electricity travels outside an intended path, because of a frayed wire or faulty device, and tries to get to the ground by the path of least resistance. Touch that device, and you may become that route. Unless you have an outlet with a GFCI, you may be seriously shocked or burned.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are found in outlets and service panels. They monitor the flow of current to and from appliances. If there's an imbalance in the flow, current may be traveling through you, and the GFCI will quickly cut power to prevent serious injury. GFCIs:
• Are required in newer homes in bathrooms and garages, near sinks and outdoors.
• Are required on some basement outlets.
• Can be added as temporary plug-in GFCI adapters.
• Can also be added by an electrician as replacement outlets.
If your outlets don't have GFCI test and reset buttons, Please let Tucson Air Conditioning and Home Maintenance inspected and repair it for you.
Protecting Your Electronics
The time to prepare your home and your expensive electronics is before thunderstorms arrive. Unplug your vulnerable electronics, such as your computer (and its phone line) and your home entertainment center, before you leave your home for hours or days. Some manufacturers of surge protectors offer optional insurance plans that will pay for replacing any damaged electronics. However, the surest method to keeping your electronic equipment from being zapped is to unplug them.
Locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main. Learn how and when to turn on these utilities off. Teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
Remember, if you suspect the lines are damaged turn off the utilities and contact Tucson Electrical Services Team to inspect and repair the problem.