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How Safe Are “Safe” Electrical Outlets, Really?

Posted on: July 19, 2016

In this blog, we talk a lot about potential dangers. From water damaged wires, to possible causes for power surges, we try to cover it all. Why do we spend so much time on this? Well, for one it makes for decent reading. Learning things is always kinda fun. For two, and the more important, is that electricity can be dangerous when misused or damaged.

At Kolb Electric, your safety is always the top priority. Second to superior service, of course. And today we’ll be covering something a little new (though we’ve mentioned it a bit here and there). Ever wondered exactly how safe outlets actually are? After all, they’re essentially tiny holes full of electrical potential located all over your home. Should you be worried? Well, it depends!

Contact Kolb today to get top-quality electrical outlet installation from our certified electricians!

sparking-outlet

How Safe Are “Safe” Electrical Outlets?

It’s actually kind of a loaded question. How safe is a kitchen knife? It’s pointy and sharp. And there’s potential for injury there. But, if you use it right, there’s no real danger! It’s pretty much the same with outlets. When they are used properly, you shouldn’t have much to ever worry about. Oh, and the type is important, too.

What do you mean “type”?

Certain types of outlets should be used in certain ways for maximum safety and functionality. For instance:

  • GFCIs. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI, because that’s a mouthful) is specifically designed to remove the risk of electrical shock in the event of an incident like power surges, overcharging, and damage. These should always be used in areas where the outlet may possible be subject to moisture. Utility rooms, kitchens, near water heaters, bathrooms, etc.
  • Grounded outlets. Take a look at the outlets in your home. Are there three holes; two vertical and one almost circular? If so, you have grounded outlets, which makes use of a grounding “neutral” wire to maximize safety against shock. If you have outlets with only two prongs, both vertical, you have “ungrounded outlets”, which the industry stopped using ages ago. If you have ungrounded ones, then your outlets are not safe, and it’s time for some electrical outlet installation!
  • Dedicated outlets. Specifically dedicated circuits, these are outlets wired to an independant breaker. You want these for any appliance that uses large or sudden amounts of power (Fridges, microwaves, Flat screen TVs, etc). By dedicating outlets with new electrical outlet installation you improve the safety of that outlet by many times. It’s always a good idea to dedicate your outlets!

Aside from these types and stipulations, there are some small things to consider. A damaged outlet is always dangerous. Even if it’s just a busted plastic cover. Skin, organic materials, or moisture coming into contact with an uncovered or damaged outlet can result in shock and electrocution. Never take chances with this.

Outlet Installation Services in Maryland

We hope you learned some cool things today! And if you learned that some of your outlets might be somewhat unsafe, we hope you choose our experts to provide the electrical outlet installation services you need. Keep updated, and you should never have to worry about your outlets. Looking for service in your Rockville home? Contact us today!

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