Electrical panels often fail at this time of year during the holidays. Area outages and storms can cause surges and overloads. Homeowners also typically increase their electrical usage.
Colder and freezing temperatures force many people to use electricity more to heat their homes. Overcast skies require the use of more indoor lighting. People often install a lot of electric holiday decorations for personal pleasure and neighborhood events. All of this activity places a strain on home electrical systems, especially electrical panels. In some cases, a homeowner fails to keep up on maintenance, which means they’re also relying on older and possibly damaged parts.
This guide offers panel safety tips that can help you prevent dangerous and costly panel-related outages and overloads.
Inspect the Main Panel and Any Subpanels
Anything can happen at this time of year, especially after fall and winter storms. You can protect your home from a future panel-related outage, overload, or fire by hiring a professional electrician to inspect the panel for defective parts, loose connections, deteriorating or rusted materials, improper wiring, melted wire casings, and even humidity control. Common signs of a panel issue include burning smells; buzzing, crackling, and other noises; electrical shocks when using appliances, devices, and switches; flickering lights; outlet or panel sparks; panel surface heat or rust; and repeated flipped breaker switches.
Install Indoor and Outdoor Decorations Correctly
Overloaded circuits, sockets, and other parts of your home’s electrical system can cause damage to an electrical panel or even start a fire. To protect the panel and your home, always follow safety measures for installing electric holiday decorations.
Inspect every cord, light bulb, and surface for damage, such as a blown or cracked bulb or an exposed wire. Replace damaged parts or entire decorations. Never install outdoor-approved decorations too close to electrical lines. Whether indoors or outdoors, keep flammable decorative materials away from uncovered sockets. With multiple decorations or extension cords, use several outlets or one outlet with a power strip that features high-end surge protection.
Think About Your Electricity Usage
Homeowners can prevent an outage, overload, or fire and save time and money by simply using common sense. For example, always ask visitors and overnight guests to turn off lights when they leave rooms and not run a lot of electrical appliances and devices with lights and decorations turned on.
Set up automated smart-home systems such as outlet timers to turn off lights and decorations during the day and at a specific time at night when everyone goes to bed. Additionally, always turn off and unplug the decorations when you leave the home. Even if you’ve invested in a remote smart-system app, you can prevent an outage, overload, or fire better by manually disconnecting cords and surge protectors from outlets.
Prevent Costly Holiday Disruptions
As much as possible, our team wants to reduce the chance of an electrical panel or related system causing an outage, overload, or fire. We’d like our neighbors in Flint and nearby areas to enjoy the holiday season and avoid expensive repairs during cold weather or fun festivities.
Contact our experienced electricians at Design Electric today about electrical panel inspection, repair, or upgrade services, and schedule an appointment anywhere in or near Flint, MI.