April 13, 2023
Keeping your home safe from electrical hazards should always be a top priority, especially when it comes to creating a conducive environment. One of the most common causes of electrical fires is overloaded outlets. This can happen when you plug numerous electrical devices into one outlet or use extension cords to add more outlets to your home. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to avoid overloaded outlets and potential hazards.
Understand outlet overloading
The first step to avoiding overloading your outlets is to understand what it means. Overloading means that you're trying to draw more electrical power from your outlet than it's designed to handle. When you plug too many devices into one outlet or use extension cords, the wires in the outlet heat up and create a potential fire hazard. To help you stay safe, you should always use one cord per device and avoid plugging multiple extension cords into one outlet.
Know how to identify an overloaded outlet
When an outlet is overloaded, it is working beyond its capacity and is prone to overheating. This usually causes a burning smell or heat coming from the outlet. Additionally, when you plug in devices, it's important to check the outlet for the maximum power it can handle. You can find this information on the outlet or in the manual. Knowing the maximum power allowed will help prevent electrical fire hazards that might arise from overload.
Time to hire an electrician
If you find that you don't have enough outlets in your home, it's best to hire an electrician to install more outlets. Installing new outlets requires a licensed and trained electrician that understands the cable wires and breaker box in your home's system. It may seem like an expensive option, but hiring a professional electrician will save you from potential fire hazards and the cost of replacing electrical appliances.
Upgrade your electrical panel
Your home’s electrical panel works to regulate the amount of electricity that enters into your home. When you're facing an overload in power, it may be time to upgrade your electrical panel. Old panels usually have lower amp capacities, which can’t handle the amount of electricity that newer appliances require. This is another instance where hiring an electrician would be necessary to install a panel that can cope with your household's increased energy needs.
Regularly check your electrical appliances
It's important to check and maintain your electrical appliances regularly to prevent electrical hazards. Damaged wires or plugs are among the key factors associated with electrical hazards. Always remember that it’s better to replace an electrical appliance than to deal with the aftermath of a fire hazard.
Having a better understanding of how to avoid overloaded outlets and when to hire an electrician can go a long way in helping you prevent electrical hazards. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when your home's electrical system is concerned.
If you’re looking for home electrical repair services in the Rochester, NY area or have any questions about your electrical system, we invite you to contact Unlimited Electric today. Call us at 585-223-2157 or email us through our secure contact page.