Far too many homeowners have no idea what the electrical safety devices are in their homes. We will discuss what those are in this blog.
It doesn’t matter if you know a little about electricity or if you are an engineer, there are several safety devices that need to be up to date in your home to keep you and your family safe from electrical shock and from a fire. Here is the list of items:
- Smoke & CO2 detectors
- Whole House Surge Protectors
- Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors (GFCI or GFI’s for short)
- Arc Fault Circuit Interruptors (AFCI)
- Tamper Resistant (TR) plugs
Let’s begin with the first item off the list, smoke and CO2 detectors. The NEC- National Electric Code requires for all electrical homes to have smoke detectors installed in hallways and bedrooms. In houses that have natural gas, carbon monoxide detectors (CO2) need to be installed in the hallways and regular smoke detectors in the bedrooms. CO2 detectors are not required in bedrooms, unless of course you want that extra level of protection for an extra cost. These devices also need to be interconnected, which simply means when one detector goes off, all the rest of the detectors will go off at the same time no matter how many you have. In a new construction home they will be installed hard-wired with 120 volt circuit. This is required in order to pass an electrical inspection. In an older home, you can either install NEW detectors hard-wired with a 120 volt circuit or with detectors that have Lithium-ion 10 year life batteries (Maintenance free) that can be interconnected, thanks to technology. A good thing to know in case you bought an older home, inspect these devices. If you notice your smoke & CO2 detectors are yellow, this means they are out of date and over 10 years old and NEED to be replaced entirely. These devices are designed with a special white paint that will turn yellow after about 10 years of use. Another option is to purchase smoke/CO2 detectors where you can pre-record your voice unto the device. Studies have shown that children will wake up twice as fast when they hear your voice as opposed to a loud annoying sound, believe it or not!
Next item- whole house surge protectors. This device gets installed at the main electrical panel in your home. If you have more than one panel, each unit will need its own surge protector. This is a great device to have because it protects ALL of your major appliances like ovens, dryers, dishwashers, HVAC and A/C units. It also protects smaller devices like iPads, cell phones, laptops and TV’s. Depending on your budget and the different brands available and the thousands of amperage (kA) it offers of protection, this device can be installed at any time in your home. The new 2020 NEC book, this device is required to be installed in your new home or when updating the electrical system. They offer 2-3-5 years of protection & $25,000-$50,000-$75,000+ of coverage for any items that might be damaged due to a lightning strike or a surge from your electrical provider.
GFCI protections is essential to have in your investment property. These are water shock prevention devices, this is the simplest way to describe it. They are required to be installed in bathrooms, garages, outdoors, crawl spaces, basements, kitchens, sinks, boathouses, bathtubs and laundry areas. Water is highly conductive, as you may have seen in a movie or two. That’s why GFCI protection is essential to keep you alive when an accident or stupid happens. You have multiple options to choose from, call us to discuss what works best for you.
The next acronym is AFCI protection. This is a hyper-sensitive device that provides extra protection in your home. Areas of protection for residential properties include- kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas. This is very important to have when little kids, elderly folks or your man-child husband are present, in case they stick a metal fork in the living room plug to protect them. It also protects your home from potential fires caused by a faulty appliance or device. You have multiple options to choose from, call us to discuss what works best for you.
Final item is TR- tamper resistant plugs. You will see these plugs in new houses or updated homes. If you have these plugs, you will no longer have to “baby proof” the outlets. They have that protection built into the device, pretty cool huh! The current electrical code require these devices to be installed in every area/ room of your home.
In any case, whether you have a question or concern, feel free to call or reach out to us for a free consultation.