As your home ages, different components and systems steadily begin to wear out. When they do, different things can become unsafe, and this is particularly true for your electrical system. To make matters even more difficult, as different technologies and components age in real-world use, we begin to learn what can happen when they do. As a result, our electrical codes and building safety guidelines are typically rewritten every two years. When that happens, something you may have relied on for years may suddenly wind up outdated and against code, making it potentially dangerous to continue using.
What does this mean for you? It means that keeping your electrical system updated and safe is a constant process of obtaining and installing upgrades in important areas. However, the overwhelming majority of homes that we see don’t have all of the proper updates that they should. Here are four of these updates that your system probably doesn’t have but really does need.
Outdoor Outlet Covers
Outdoor outlets are great for things like yard work or outdoor decorations, but they require some additional safety measures. Because moisture getting into an electrical port can cause serious problems including a short, these outlets need to be covered in order to protect them from accidental exposure to water in the form of precipitation or excessive vapor. This is typically done using a cover. However, many of the covers we have been utilizing for years have been found to be flawed, making them potentially dangerous during inclement weather. Therefore, we strongly recommend having a modern bubble-style cover installed over all of your outdoor outlets, as they are widely believed to currently be the safest and most effective way of protecting your outlets. They can even be safely used during the rain thanks to their design that allows you to keep something plugged in while the cover is shut.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI for short, is a safety device that causes an electrical outlet or circuit to shut off when too much current flows through it. A sudden, sharp spike in current is indicative of a short, and a short can quickly cause injuries and damage due to overheating wires and components.
GFCIs are extremely easy to spot: they’re those outlets that have a button that says “test” and another that says “reset” in the middle of them. When you press the “test” button, the “reset” button should pop out. If it doesn’t, then the outlet needs to be replaced, as the GFCI doesn’t work. These outlets should be installed everywhere that moisture or water could be present, such as kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, and outdoor applications.
LED/Energy Efficient Lighting
While LED lighting is not crucially important to your electrical safety and security, it has so many benefits in ways that you may not have expected. For starters, these bulbs draw only a tiny percentage of the energy that their traditional incandescent counterparts typically pulled, meaning they save you a ton of money on energy. Because they use less energy, they also typically cause less wear and tear on electrical components in your home, thus reducing the chances of things like overdrawing a circuit or an electrical surge, and that means longer-lasting and safer electrical components. LED bulbs also last longer, meaning you’ll spend less time changing burned-out bulbs, and means more consistent and reliable lighting. Better lighting means better safety for you and everyone in your home.
Whole-Home Surge Protection
A power surge is a sudden spike in power from your electrical input lines, usually as a result of something like a distribution box failure, work on maintenance lines, or simply too much electrical draw all at once. In an instant, a surge can cause an unbelievable amount of damage to your electrical system, including blowing out important components, damaging appliances and other devices plugged into them, and so much more.
However, protecting your home from a surge isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s quite easy when you have a whole-home surge protector professionally installed. These devices protect your home from a surge by preventing the excess of current from reaching the various circuits in your home. Thus, you enjoy greater peace of mind and a safer electrical system.Let the pros at Lightning Bug Electric take care of upgrading your electrical system! Discuss your needs by calling us at (404) 471-3847 today.