Get Familiar With the Basics of Your Electrical Systems The school year is nearly here, and even though most adults are done with their academic careers, it’s never too late to learn about the most important subjects. And what could be more important than electrical safety?  Modern electrical systems in homes are required to meet certain safety standards and codes. However, not all homes feature up-to-date fixtures, and even those that do can still present the risk of fire or electrocution – particularly with inadequate maintenance or improper repairs. But with awareness and understanding, homeowners can help keep their homes and families safe from electrical hazards. Wall Outlets and Switches There’s no better place to start than the outlets and switches when it comes to electrical safety. These tend to see the most action and consequently tend to wear out faster and experience the most issues. Some outlet and switch problems may be inconvenient, but others can be extremely dangerous.  A worn prong contact or a loose or damaged wire can lead to arcing, which can cause the receptacle to overheat and even ignite insulation or other materials in the wall – a common cause of house fires. With outlets, there’s also a risk of electric shock. Fortunately, one can dramatically reduce this risk by installing safety devices such as GFCI receptacles and tamper-resistant outlets. Outdoor Electrical Fixtures The risk of electric shock is even more prevalent with outdoor electrical fixtures and systems. This is primarily due to the presence of moisture – electricity naturally wants to go into the ground and will use any conductive material in its path to get there, including water. This departure of electricity from its circuit into the ground is known as a ground fault. Outdoor electrical systems typically require GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) circuits to protect against ground faults and prevent electrocution. Fixtures that require GFCI protection include: Pool pumps (both plug-in and hard-wired models). Poolside lighting Underwater lighting Exterior wall outlets Ceiling fans within a certain distance from water or the ground Why Electrical Work Should Be Left To The Professionals Upgrading, replacing, or repairing a home’s electrical fixtures is a great way to ensure safety – but only if it’s done by a trained professional. Electrical work can be extremely dangerous (and even deadly), which is why pros undergo rigorous training and certification to understand and avoid the many risks involved. Aside from the immediate risk of electrocution or burns, improper repairs can damage the home’s wiring and lead to fire hazards in the future. Professional electricians’ training allows them to be aware of hidden dangers that simply wouldn’t occur to an amateur. And even if the person performing the work has a background in electrical work, they likely won’t be up to date on the latest electrical codes and regulations, leading to fines or failure to pass safety inspections later on.  All in all, the safety and peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional is well worth the little bit of extra money! About Beltz Home Service Co. The experts at Beltz Home Service Co. have been Findlay, OH’s preferred providers of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services since 2001. Their commitment to safety, honesty, and superior service has earned them numerous awards and 5-star reviews. Beltz offers financing, membership perks, and 24-hour emergency electrical service. +++ Distribution Links +

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