As you can tell here at East-West Electric we are big on electrical safety issues. As experienced residential and commercial electricians in Pinellas County, we feel it is our responsibility to make sure that every electrical project we work on reaches the highest level of safety possible. That is why a lot of our blog articles stress the importance of industry-standard electrical safety tips. Here are the 5 electrical safety devices that you should have installed in your home:
Fuses are built as a safety measure if there is too much current flowing through a circuit. Fuses have a thin metal strip (usually made of copper or zinc) that keeps the connection open. However, if an electrical current exceeds the maximum current allowed within that fuse it will overheat and cause the metal strip to melt. The destroyed metal strip breaks the connection and stops electricity flowing through. Fuses are there to protect appliances from electric power surges and overheating which is one of the main causes of electric fires. The fuse has to be replaced after one fault. Check out our article on fuses to learn more.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) are built to detect any anomaly within the electric system and react in rapid time to cut off the power. A GFCI works by comparing the output current on the neutral side to the input current on the hot side for any leaks (that could be caused by human interference). They are designed to detect even the smallest difference, even as low as 4 milliamps. When detecting an anomaly, the GFCI will trip or interrupt the circuit within 10 milliseconds, cutting off the power and preventing a tragedy from occurring. Unlike the fuse in the previous paragraph, the GFCI dos not need to be replaced after every electric fault.
Arc Fault Circuit Breakers
AFCI’s are a special type of electrical safety device. Normal circuit breakers detect faults when the current exceeds the maximum rated value, however there are faults that occur when this value is not reached. An electric arc fault (or an electric arc flash) occurs when a current flows through an air gap between conductors. These can be caused by dust or corrosion on the surface of the conductor, poor installation of the system, or normal wear and tear of the parts. AFCI’s measure the chopped current wave as opposed to the heat which GFCI’s are unable to do. If an anomaly is detected the AFCI will trip and break the connection, preventing an electric fire.
As the name suggests these electrical safety devices protect your home and appliances against sudden spikes in electrical current. We have written an extensive article on power surges and why they are dangerous. Although they may look similar to extension cords and power strips, they differ by offering much more protection against sudden increases in current flow. There are even some manufacturers that will offer warranties for the appliances connected to their product if they get damaged. Surge protectors (or surge suppressors) are more expensive than extension cords/power strips but if you are trying to protect higher end electrical appliances, we would highly recommend the investment.
Tamper Proof Receptacles
This device is aimed at parents of toddlers or young children that will become curious to those ‘weird holes in the wall’. A tamper proof receptacle (or tamper proof outlet) prohibits an electric current from flowing through an electrical wall outlet unless all slots are activated simultaneously. For young children who might be wandering around the home with a fork or hairpin, they will be unable to shock themselves by inserting it into a slot. It is never too late to start child-proofing your home. Call us today and we will fit out TPR’s on all outlets in your home.
Electrical Safety Devices for Your Home | Pinellas County Electrician
Electricity has become such a vital part of our everyday lives that we sometimes forget the danger and threats that it can pose if not handled with care. At East-West Electric we feel it is our duty as Pinellas County’s best electricians to advise our customers on best practices when it comes to making your home safe. Installing and maintaining these five electrical safety devices in your home will protect you and your loved ones. Call us on (727) 771-9403 now and we will inspect your home’s electric system.