Nothing zaps the fun out of homeownership faster than a faulty electric panel, flickering lights, or an electrical fire. Yet, millions of homes across the country have old wiring, improper electrical distribution, and dangerous lighting equipment— triggering nearly 50,000 home fires a year.

Whether your home is a charming old build with less-than-quaint electrical quirks, or a new construction with up-to-date wiring, these five basic electrical safety tips can go a long way towards protecting your home and family.

  1. Don’t make your outlets work double-time!

It seems like every home has one—a single power strip that supplies electricity to four, six, or even 10 different devices, permanently plugged into some hard-to-reach space. Is yours behind the TV, under your bed, or behind your home office desk? If you’re using a strip to power large electronics, like a computer or TV, you run the risk of overpowering the strip and even triggering a dangerous fire.

Instead of overloading your outlets, or running a trip-worthy string of extension cords around your home, have Burton’s team of licensed and insured professionals install additional outlets in your most-used spaces. We can even upgrade your electrical panelto a system that supports higher power needs for your larger electronics.

  1. Keep your outlets dry—or upgrade to GFCI outlets.

In older homes, we sometimes see non-GFCI outlets placed near sinks and bathtubs. In these high-splash zones, not only are unprotected outlets dangerous—they’re out of code! We strongly recommend installing GFCI outlets throughout your kitchen, bathrooms, and in any outdoor space, like your patio or front porch. These water-resistant and protective outlets are an easy electrical repair and a significant home safety improvement.

  1. Install a home surge protector.

Did you know a single lightning bolt can carry 30,000 amps of electricity? Compared to a typical home, with a current of just 15 amps, it’s no wonder even a nearby lightning strike can instantly blow out your electronics. And lightning isn’t the only cause of power surges. When your utility company restores electricity after an outage, the sudden draw of energy can also trigger a damaging power spike.

A home surge protector works by regulating the voltage supplied to all your devices, minimizing power surges, and protecting your electronics from destructive currents. This simple safety upgrade creates a barrier between the surging electricity and your home electronics—reducing your risk of shock and minimizing the likelihood of a surge-triggered fire.

  1. Replace damaged cords.

A cord with exposed wiring, like a damaged extension cord, appliance cord, or phone charger, can short circuit and create a shock risk or fire hazard. Damaged cords are even more dangerous in spaces where water is present, like bathrooms and the backyard.

Regularly inspect your cords for frayed wires, loose connections, or exposed sections, especially near the plug. And when in doubt, switch it out!

  1. Always hire a qualified electrician!

While it may be tempting to save a few bucks and hire your Uncle Steve—who’s handy with pliers and knows his way around a circuit pane—do your family (and your neighbors!) a favor and only hire licensed and trained electricians! Some projects are DIY-friendly. But when you’re dealing with 15 amps of pure power, play it safe, mind current codes, and Just Call Burton!

When it comes to electrical work, Burton is shockingly fast, friendly, and affordable

Looking to hire a qualified electrician in Omaha? Just Call Burton! Our team of licensed and insured electricians are highly trained on the latest home power technology, systems, and regulations. Whether you need to upgrade an outdated electrical panel, add a convenient outlet or two, or protect your home from a power surge, Burton can help. Contact us at (402) 343-0011 or send us a message. And don’t forget to ask about our seasonal promotions!