As you load up the grill this Father’s Day (June 19th) and get the party started, be sure to guarantee the safety of those in your home. While keeping in mind basic electrical safety (avoid placing your radio too close to the kiddie pool, climbing into trees next to power lines, or flying kites or other remote control toys near overhead electricity cables, for example), you should also consider the following basic precautions to ensure your Father’s Day is without disaster.
Test GFCI and AFCI Circuit Interrupters
Summer has arrived and it’s time to work on all of those pesky tasks that need yearly attention, starting with the general electricity flow throughout the house. You know it’s been a while since you’ve tested those circuit interrupters. Pushing the ‘test’ button on a ground fault circuit breaker-type interrupter (GFCI) or arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) should turn off the power. In order to restore the power on GFCIs, simply push the ‘reset button.’ The AFCI breaker handle should be in the middle or off position. To reset, simply move the handle into the off position and then back to the on position.
Replace Old Air-Conditioner and Furnace Filters
Upkeep of the airflow systems in your home should happen at least once a year and June is a perfect month to do it. An annual inspection of your furnace and air-conditioning filters is beneficial for several reasons and common sense will tell you an ideal time to replace the air-conditioning filter is near the beginning of summer, while furnaces could benefit from new filters in the beginning of autumn.
Replacing filters not only extends furnace life, but also reduces energy bills and utility bills typically between 5 and 15 percent. Indoor air quality is improved and helps to alleviate allergy symptoms for those who suffer from chronic or seasonal allergies. Regular care of your filters also helps to avoid extra repairs, service and parts over the long-term.
Replace Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries
Make sure to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly to ensure they are working properly. A simple replacement of batteries every 12 months can protect you and your family from serious harm.
Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils
While used daily, we don’t often think the fridge is something we need to worry about maintaining. Take the time to help out dad this year by vacuuming the refrigerator coils. Largely unappreciated until they fail, there is only a minimal amount of maintenance needed on the coils to keep the refrigerator running effectively. This maintenance mostly consists of a simple cleaning of the condenser coil at 12-month (or less) intervals, especially if you own pets. To do this, simply unplug the refrigerator and use your household vacuum to gently pull away the dirt and dust. For stubborn muck, use a narrow paint brush to get sufficient access.
Examine Electrical Extension Cords for Damage and Proper Placement
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), extension cords are responsible for about 3,300 home fires each year, resulting in 50 deaths and 270 injured people. Before plugging anything in, examine all cords for cracks, frays, or other damages. If found, either replace or wrap with electrical tape right away.
While extension cords can be a blessing during any get together, remember they are meant to be a temporary solution and shouldn’t be used as long-term or permanent electrical circuit. It’s important to keep all outdoor extension cords away from standing water, overgrown vegetation and walkways. Plugging in a lamp next to the sprinkler system will only cause trouble. Finally, while you may be searching for a way to bring power to dad’s new outdoor speaker set, don’t run cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. This only increases the potential fire danger.
Stay Safe Outdoors during Storms
Lightning storms are frequent during this time of the year in Colorado, so it goes without saying to not swim or continue grilling when they hit. As soon as you hear the thunder or see the lightning it’s time to move the party indoors (a rule of thumb is if you can hear the thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning). If any overhead power lines break, stay far away from them and immediately call your local electric company.
Find Professional Peace of Mind
Make sure to have fun with Dad this Father’s Day and show him you recognize how special he is. Let him know you love and care about his safety and the safety of the family while enjoying the summer festivities.
Allstar Electrical can help you ensure your Denver area home, business office and anywhere you may be celebrating Father’s Day is safe and secure. We perform electrical audits and inspections to guarantee your systems are proper and up-to-date. For peace of mind and an estimate, contact us at 303-399-7420 before the big day.