With more people working from home, and kids taking online courses, your home’s electrical system is in constant demand. While you aren’t necessarily using anything different from the devices and appliances you always have depended on, it is the frequency of use and ongoing demand during COVID that can pose an issue. With calgary electrical demand increasing by an additional eight hours of work each day, home electrical safety is important. It will help avoid potential risks and hazards associated with increased electricity use. Here is why home electrical safety is so important during COVID.
Increased Electrical Hazards
Your family has been using electronics since you moved into your home. While even the most basic use of electricity can present safety hazards, increased use in hand with demand from a full house 24/7 presents new issues. To safely operate your electronics while people work or attend classes from home, use these safety tips:
- Avoid overloading outlets by reducing the number of devices and appliances in each outlet
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) help prevent electric shock for outlets near water like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
- Look for cords that are frayed, cracked or that get hot when plugged in and either have them repaired, or replaced
- Remember extension cords are meant for temporary use only. With full-time use demands, you should either plug equipment right into the outlet or use a power bar approved for multiple plug use
- If you have found extension cords are in the way, don’t run them under carpets or heavy furniture. Instead, keep them against the wall to avoid friction.
These tips will help avoid making your electrical outlets and overall system work too hard during COVID.
More Demand on Appliances
Most households use their appliances in the morning and evenings. However, with everyone home all day, suddenly your household appliances might be seeing increased use. More accessing of the fridge, more meal prep with the oven/stove or microwave, use of the toaster, and even of your laundry appliances put demands on your electrical system. Make sure you have a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) label on your appliances to show they meet safety standards.
If not, you might want to consider shopping for new appliances if your budget allows it. This will actually save money in the long run as new appliances will be great energy savers. To make sure your appliances are safe, ensure the electrical cords on your appliances are in good condition. Avoid operating several appliances at once, especially if they are sharing the outlet with other large appliances.
During COVID you might be trying to work with small kids at home. If that is the case, help keep them safe around electrical equipment with these tips:
- Make sure if they are using devices, they pull the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting them from the outlet
- Keep kids using electronic devices away from water
- Make sure kids know not to use objects to try to get toast out of the toaster
- Use safety covers for outlets
- Unplug lamps that have exposed light bulb sockets
- Keep electric cords tucked away to reduce strangulation risks
As you can see, the extra time spent at home during COVID requires some special considerations due to the added demand on electrical. These tips will help keep everyone safe.