With spring right around the corner, it's time to think about how to prepare for its strong storms. While you may think storm preparation solely includes food, water, and evacuations, you also need to think about your home's electrical systems. Whether you're a homeowner or an electrician, you'll want to make sure that your home and your clients' homes are protected as much as possible when dealing with the wrath of Mother Nature. Here are our spring storm preparedness tips to help you protect your electrical system.
Turn Off Your Home's Electrical Supply
First, it's important to know where the electrical panel is located if you need to turn off the power entirely in the event of flooding or severe storms. You can do this by flipping the main circuit breaker switch. To shut off the power to individual rooms or circuits, shut off the branch circuit breakers.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Your electrical system can be severely damaged by water, which is a safety hazard for everyone in the home. Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). A GFCI outlet is a special type of circuit breaker that automatically shuts off the power directly at the outlet when it detects dangerous electrical situations, preventing the risk of electric shock.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires GFCI outlets in all wet or damp locations, including bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. GFCIs should be tested monthly to confirm they are providing adequate protection.
The best way to protect your electrical system and home appliances from electrical surges is to unplug them as the storm approaches. Not only does this reduce the risk of overloading circuits, but it also prevents damaging appliances since they have been completely taken off of the circuit. Leave one lamp or switch on as a signal for when your power returns.
Have an Alternate Source of Power
Strong gusts of wind can knock out power to your neighborhood, leading to a surge that trips your home's circuit breakers. Before a storm comes, you'll want to make sure you have sources of power that you can rely on if the electricity does go out. For example, you may want a generator for your home, which will need to be installed well before the storm. Run extension cords from the appliances you want to power to the generator.
You may also want to consider installing a transfer switch by the electric panel. Transfer switches work by dividing the electrical load, allowing the home to run off of utility power or generator power without combining the two. This prevents electrical backfeeding, which can cause injury and even death to technicians. It also assures that the power won't feed into your generator and damage it.
Stay Safe With New Electrical Supplies
If your home is damaged after a spring storm and needs electrical repairs, you can purchase electrical supplies at Big Electric Supply. Big Electric Supply has a large inventory of circuit breakers, panels, and many other essential supplies that can help you repair your home.
If you are an electrician in an area with a high frequency of storms and hurricanes, it's important to stay stocked up on your home electrical supplies so you can help people prepare for hurricanes and repair their homes after the storm. Even when your local suppliers may be a bit low on supplies, you can find what you need at Big Electric Supply. Check out our inventory today to find all the supplies you need.