Spring cleaning is an important time of year when you move the furniture, get into the corners, and dust rarely-touched appliances. This is an unusual time when you will see more of your home’s electrical setup than almost any other time of year. Spring cleaning is when you peek under tables, behind couches, and dust all the way to the back of the entertainment center. So now is also the perfect time to check your home’s electrical safety and maintain a few appliances.
While you’re dusting around cables, here are the top five electrical safety tips to remember during your spring cleaning routine.
1) Make Sure Outlets are Not Overloaded
First, check to make sure that no single outlet or circuit is overloaded. Too many power strips or large appliances can overload a home outlet. But even without mathematics and a multimeter, you can often tell if an outlet is warm to the touch or if the related breaker often needs resetting because it has tripped.
If you suspect an outlet is overloaded, look for ways to plug in some household items into other outlets or outlets in other rooms that may be on a separate circuit.
2) Inspect Electrical Cords for Damage or Fraying
Electrical cables don’t always last forever, especially if they are often walked, are crushed beneath furniture, or possibly chewed by pets. Inspect each power cord as you come across it to check for damage. If the cord is deformed, scorched or melted, if the casing has split or if there are clearly frayed wires, carefully disconnect it from the outlet and seek to replace the cord. If the cord is inherent to a device, the entire device may need to be replaced.
3) Dust and Clean Exhaust Fans for All Appliances
Appliances run best then they are not choked on dust. Many appliances have a small exhaust fan that helps keep them cool and efficient. Wipe the dust off of any appliance you come across and if you see a metal or plastic vent packed with dust, wipe it clear to free the little fan inside. This will keep your appliances running more efficiently and prevent overheating.
4) If There Are Children, Childproof Your Outlets
If there are curious little ones in your home, make sure all your outlets are childproof. The easiest way is to use simple flat-topped outlet covers that require dexterity and a fingernail or thin tool to reopen, but there are also other cute and/or lockable options as well. This will keep little metal toys from going into the outlet and causing unwanted danger.
5) Be Careful With Extension Cords
Many homes have extension cords today reaching from the nearest outlet to an appliance or entertainment system. Spring cleaning may also require an extension cord to get your cleaning equipment to the furthest nooks and crannies. Be careful. Avoid creating trip-wires or tripping over your own extension cords. Make sure each end of the extension is safely and completely plugged in and that emplaced extension cords are tucked out of the way.
Contact CMC If You Find an Electrical Issue
If you run into a potential electrical problem in your home, do not try to DIY. Rogue electrical problems can be extremely dangerous to your person and your house. Trained electricians and safety professionals are the best equippped to handle problems like frayed cables, exposed wires, or sparking outlets. If you run into an electrical problem, contact CMC toady.
Coastal Mechanic Contractors is dedicated to keeping families safe from dangerous home situations. Call us anytime for inspection and repair services.