Reduce your risks and improve efficiency at home with these electrical safety tips

BY Allconnect | Tue Sep 08, 2015
Reduce your risks and improve efficiency at home with these electrical safety tips

Saving energy is likely a priority for your household, and there are plenty of strategies that you and your family can follow to minimize monthly consumption of electricity. Make sure not to forget to consider electrical safety when making your home more efficient, as maintenance lapses in this regard are responsible for over 50,000 home fires and hundreds of electrocutions each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation.

Fortunately, there is plenty of overlap between electrical safety solutions and efficiency fixes. It’s easier to identify those opportunities by envisioning safety and energy efficiency at a single project. If you and your family start plugging away at electrical maintenance now, your home could be considerably more efficient in the coming new year. The following tips are a great place to start when plotting out a set of weekend projects that help keep your power bills under control while also protecting your family from the dangers of haphazard wiring.

“Keep your power bills under control while also protecting your family.”

Update aging electrical appliances
With age comes fraying wires, worn components and overheating issues. All of these factors can increase risk factors for electrocutions and fires occurring in the home. Likewise, the same signs indicate that an appliance is running significantly less efficiently than designed. These issues become even more magnified when appliances fall into disrepair or do not receive routine maintenance over an extended period of time. Thankfully, both issues can be addressed with the same solutions.

First, remember that scheduling timely repairs and service will go a long way toward ensuring your appliances run efficiently and without risk of an accident.  Second, if you’re interested in limiting energy waste even further, then consider upgrading your appliance completely with a new, Energy Star-rated model. In addition helping you save money on your monthly bill, you can feel confident that a new appliance will operate safely for several years. This peace of mind and relative safety may be well worth the cost of your next appliance upgrade.

Consolidate massive webs of extension cords
If your family room is a mess of wires that runs under, over and behind pieces of furniture, then there are probably steps that can be taken to make your home more energy friendly and less likely to host an electrical fire. The quickest way to improve electrical safety in a room with several crisscrossing wires is to consolidate your setup, according to the Public Broadcasting Service. Swapping out multiple extension cords for a single power strip, for example, will make it less likely for family members to trip while also ensuring that your outlets do not get overloaded and become a drain on energy efficiency.

When purchasing power strips, be sure to invest in one with a surge protector to further limit chances of a house fire. By using this safety principle to manage the number of active outlets in your home, your family will naturally begin to use appliances – and electricity – less frequently.

It also pays to be aware of energy vampires, which are appliances that continue to drain electricity even when they are turned off. Corralling these appliances to their own surge protector makes it easy to cut off these low-key energy wasters at the source.

Investigate wiring issues when lights begin to flicker
While flickering lights may seem to be, at worst, a little ominous, the phenomenon should also alert family members to the possibility of electrical issues occurring in the home.

Popular Mechanics noted that loose wire splices, worn light fixtures and other deterioration of electrical systems are responsible for the inconsistent flow of power that is responsible for wiring splice or a light fixture that’s worn out and needs to be replaced.

In addition to an interrupted power flow, flickering lights indicate that the home’s wiring setup may be in need of rapid repair. Researching solutions as soon as the issue begins will help protect your household and family from combustible consequences of wiring failure in the future.

Sparks fly when wiring begins to decay.
Sparks fly and energy is wasted when wiring begins to fail.

Prepare for weather to limit dangers and risks to the home
Weather damage is unpredictable, but you can prepare for the worst by making sure your home is always in good repair. Even small fixes around the home can make a big difference when bad weather makes electrical safety and efficiency more difficult. For instance, forgetting to clean dry leaves from a gutter or yard could serve as kindling if strong storm winds damage nearby electrical wires. Likewise, damaged wiring can pose an even greater risk to your home if the maintenance issue is compounded by indoor flooding. The best way to prevent a small wiring issue from turning into a huge problem is to dedicate some time to scheduled home improvement and maintenance.

Get in touch with a local contractor to in your area to perform efficiency checkups on your home’s wiring. Working with a professional will make it easier to both identify problem areas and help you brainstorm new strategies to save energy. Ultimately, the daily habits of you and your family will have the biggest impact on your total electric bill. Changing a few of these routines could not only improve efficiency across the home, but also ensure that your family remains protected from electrical accidents.

Find electric providers

Stay in touch.

Subscribe to the Allconnect Resource Center for industry news, expert shopping tips, home technology guides, reports and more.