As we go through life in these modern times, electricity persists in its importance to our homes. With that said, along with our dependence on electricity, comes a lot of urban legends, myths, and wive’s tales on the subject. These misconceptions, if left unaddressed can promote unsafe practices and create electrical hazards. In this blog post, we’re going to address common electrical myths and debunk them to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe this new year and moving forward.
Myth #1: Appliances Don't Consume Energy When Turned Off
Fact: Phantom Energy Consumption is Real
One common misconception is that electrical appliances and devices don’t consume electricity when turned off. This is far from the truth. While it is a smaller amount, many appliances continue drawing electricity even when in standby mode. This is sometimes called “phantom energy consumption” and some devices guilty of this are TVs, chargers, microwave ovens, and coffee makers. To solve this issue, you may want to think about using power strips and unplugging these devices when you’re not using them to prevent unnecessary energy consumption.
Myth #2: Rubber Gloves Make You Invincible to Electric Shocks
Fact: Rubber Gloves Are Not a Guarantee
While rubber gloves do a great job at insulating, they aren’t a perfect protection against electrical shocks. Electrical safety involves a lot more and you would benefit from a holistic approach to to the problem. This includes turning off power sources before starting an electrical project. Rubber gloves should certainly be used, as they provide an extra layer of protection, but they should be used along with other electrical safety protocols, not in lieu of them.
Myth #3: It's Safe to Overload Power Strips
Fact: Overloading Poses Fire Hazards
One myth that is particularly common is that power strips can handle any amount of devices plugged in without a problem. The reality is that overloading power strips is easy enough and can lead to overheating. Overheating a power strip is a fire hazard so it’s important that you review the requirements for your devices and chaining together multiple power strips. Buying higher-rated power strips can also increase safety.
Myth #4: It's Okay to Ignore Flickering Lights
Fact: Flickering Lights May Indicate Electrical Issues
One thing homeowners tend to do is ignore flickering lights. While it might seem like a minor issue, flickering lights can be a symptom of underlying electrical issues like loose wiring or overloaded circuits. We recommend consulting with a professional electrician to pinpoint the issues as soon as possible.
Myth #5: You Can DIY Electrical Repairs
Fact: DIY Electrical Work Can Be Dangerous
While some minor low-risk electrical issues can be tackled at fairly low risk, the belief that anyone can tackle any electrical repairs or installations is a dangerous myth. Professional electricians are trained with the knowledge to safely handle electrical components and avoid accidents, shocks, and fires. Always consult a licensed professional electrician for any necessary repairs or installations to make sure the work done meets all safety standards and regulations.
Practical Tips for Electrical Safety
Invest in Surge Protectors: Keep your electrical appliances from harm from power surges with surge protectors. Surge protectors prevent voltage spikes and keep your valuable appliances and devices functioning the way they should.
Schedule Regular Electrical Inspections: Don’t forget to have your home inspected by a professional! A professional electrician can identify any issues before they get worse.
Educate Your Family: Knowledge is power. Keep your family and friends in the know by sharing essential basic electrical safety tips with them to create a culture of awareness.
Upgrade Outdated Wiring: If your home has outdated wiring, consider upgrading to modern, safer alternatives. This investment can enhance the overall safety of your electrical systems.
Join the Conversation: Share Your Electrical Myths and Questions!
We invite you to join the conversation by contacting us and sharing your own electrical myths or questions! Electrical safety is a community effort, and by promoting community engagement, we can learn from one another and create safer living environments.
Debunking common electrical myths is essential for promoting safety and preventing accidents. By understanding the facts and adopting best practices, we can ensure our homes remain secure and powered efficiently.