A house has many different parts, by some estimates a typcial house has over 3,000 different components. Many of these components can be maintained and repaired by a competent homeowner that enjoys doing this sort of do-it-yourself work themselves. However, there are certain areas of the home that should be left to trained professionals and electrical items are in that category that is best left to a trained home improvement professional, a licensed electrician.
It is a difficult task to become a licensed electrician. Before earning a license, individuals must complete educational training, serve in an apprentice role working for an already licensed electrician more than a year, pass a written examination, and apply and be approved by a licensing board. This takes several years to achieve and once licensed requires annual updates to maintain the license. These efforts are required as electricity is very dangerous if not handled properly.
For the unfamiliar property owner it is safer to leave electrical items to the electrician. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
- Know where you electrical panel is located. Generally these are located in a garage, basement or within a closet. This is good to know should a circuit breaker trip and need to be reset or in an older home to replace a blown fuse.
- If you see or smell smoke in or around an electrical item, call an electrician.
- Electricity and water don’t mix! When they do sparks and a fire can ensue. Keep electrical items away from water. Many home fires each year are caused by this dangerous combination.
- Check your power cords for each item you plug-in to an outlet regularly. Appliances and items that you move around often are especially vulnerable. For example: hair dryers, portable radios, extension cords, and vacuum cleaners. Overtime cords can become frayed and damaged. Replace these cords to avoid an electrical shock or house fire.