A New Homeowner’s Guide to Home Electricity

5 April, 2021
A new homeowner’s guide to home electricity

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is an exciting start to a new life for you and your family. The beauty of owning a house is that it’s completely yours. That means you have to care for your house at all times and make sure it’s well-maintained throughout its occupancy. Sounds like a lot of responsibility, right? Where do you begin? Start with your home electricity.

With more people working from home during the pandemic, as a new homeowner, think about how many people are staying in your house on a daily basis. Just like running water, electrical sources in your home should be working properly, while maintaining a safe environment that is free of electrical issues.

Here at Hi-Lite Electric, we like to help new homeowners get started with their electrical maintenance and safety procedures with our exceptional electrical repair service in Toronto. So, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most important electrical safety tips that all homeowners should know.

1. Feel electrical outlets

Start out by feeling your outlets. Electrical outlets that are warm or hot when you touch them could mean that the electrical load in its circuit is too high or the wiring could be too loose or is melting.

You should also consider which electrical sockets are going to be used the most in your home. Usually, the kitchen, family room, and bedrooms are the primary areas where electrical outlets have the most activity on a daily basis. Be sure these electrical sockets are in mint condition.

If your electrical outlets can’t securely hold plugs or the outlet is loose on the wall, then it needs to be replaced. Be sure not to use these outlets and call for an electrical inspection.

2. Make upgrades for electrical savings

As a new home owner, save money on your electric bills when you invest in electrical upgrades by using LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs in your light fixtures and mount lights. Another electrical tweak that saves you money in the long run is using motion detector switches. These adjustments shouldn’t be done on your own, as we recommend you seek the help of a professional electrical repair service.

3. Childproof electrical outlets and extension cords

If you have kids or planning to have a house with babies running around it someday, childproof all electrical outlets with inexpensive outlet shields. If you’re going to use power strips, protect your kids from touching the switches with a power strip cover and run the long cords on the floor against the wall and by securing them with electrical tape.

4. Match bulb wattage with light fixtures

When moving into a new home, you’re probably going to decorate it with modern light fixtures such as table lamps. However, along with upgrading to LED light bulbs, make sure that you use the correct bulb wattage capacities that are compatible with all your light fixtures.

For instance, the majority of table and decorative lamps only take 60 watt light bulbs. If you use 80 to 100 watt light bulbs, they could become overloaded and burst. Even if they don’t burst, using high-watt light bulbs will still use more energy and naturally increase your electric bill.

To know your light fixtures’ maximum wattage, you can find that information in its installation pamphlet in the package or check the brand and model online to locate their electrical specs.

5. Investigate flickering lights

This might not be the case when you move into a brand new house; however, if you’re a new homeowner to an older house, be sure to investigate flickering lights. Do a walk-through and turn on each light switch in every room to check that each light turns on properly. If a light begins to flicker, then it could mean there is wire damage in a faulty switch. We recommend that you call a professional electrical repair service to test and replace it, as they can switch the lighting to another circuit.

6. Install new smoke detectors

Being a new homeowner also means you need to protect your home. So, it’s imperative you test its current smoke alarm system. You might be tempted to do it yourself, but smoke detectors can be installed incorrectly because they come with a complicated process. We recommend that you contact a professional electrician for installing a new smoke detector to avoid malfunctioning.

7. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher

In case an electrical fire starts from loose connections or electrical sparks, be sure to use a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher. Never spray regular tap water on an electrical fire, as water can spark a shock hazard on the person trying to put out the fire. It is also a good idea to keep your fire extinguisher in an accessible part of your home and replace them after use.

8. Check your electrical panel

Make sure you and members of your household know where the electrical panel is located in your house. Usually, they are found in the basement or the garage. In case of a blackout caused by severe rain or winter storms, you might have to manually reboot the electricity in your house by going to the electrical panel and turning on the switches again. Be sure to have a flashlight on hand.

9. Label electrical circuits

Since the electrical panel is the main area you’re going to examine if you run into electrical issues, it’s essential to be able to identify each circuit. To do so, mark every circuit by placing a sticker label next to each switch with the name of the room in the house it controls. This comes in handy during a blackout when you have to use a flashlight to locate which circuit you need to reboot.

10. Get an electrical inspection

Getting an electrical inspection isn’t necessary if your home is new, but if you purchased an older home or one that never had an electrical inspection, we recommend that you schedule one now.

For homeowners with a brand new house, we advise getting an electrical inspection annually, even if you don’t experience any electrical issues. When it comes to electricity, you should always get a professional electrician to check it out.

If you would like a free quote on our electrical repair services, our licensed electricians at Hi-Lite Electric are here to assist new homeowners with maintaining electrical safety in Toronto and the GTA. Call us in Toronto at 416-800-5523, in York Region at 289-207-0324, and in Peel Region at 289-216-0548, or contact us here.

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