Electrical safety should be applied to every part of your home, especially your garage. Garages are where homeowners get their hands dirty with power tools, machines, and extension cords. Additionally, there has been a rising interest in automatic garage doors and smart lighting. These activities require that you take preventative measures in your garage to help avoid dangers associated with electricity.
Salt Light & Electric recommends that every Central Texas homeowner follows garage electrical safety. We have assembled a guide below detailing these essential practices.
Use Extension Cords Safely in the Garage
- Examine extension cords before use. Check for any damages to the cord, or any exposed wiring. Discard ones with noticeable damage.
- Be sure your extension cord is suited for outdoor weather conditions and has water resistance. Garages have no HVAC system, and during a storm, water can seep in through the garage door cracks.
- Avoid plugging two extension cords together. Doing so can create a fire hazard.
- To avoid people tripping over extension cords, run them along the bottom edges of walls or have them easily visible.
- Check the extension cord’s AWG rating. AWG determines the amount of voltage an extension cord can handle. The lower the AWG rating, the higher capacity of the extension cord.
- If you find yourself using too many extension cords, you may require the installation of new outlets. Contact Salt Light & Electric for outlet installation services.
Know Your Garage’s Circuit Breakers
- Find the circuit breaker(s) that distributes power to your garage. Circuit breakers are used to distribute power to a certain circuit as well as trip in the case of an electrical overload.
- Keep track of which devices are connected to the circuit. This will help prevent running too many electronics on the same circuit. This will also help if you plan on putting a refrigerator or freezer in the garage, as they require their own circuit.
- Monitor the voltage on your garage’s circuit breaker(s). If the breaker is labeled 20A, then the circuit can handle a higher voltage compared to a 15A breaker.
Properly Store Items in the Garage
- Always keep flammable objects away from electrical equipment. This includes wood, clothes, gasoline, and oil.
- Make sure all storage and objects are completely dry before placing them close to electrical equipment.
- Do not store or use generators in your garage unless they are completely unplugged. Generators can produce carbon monoxide, which is a deadly, odorless gas.
Upgrade Garage Outlets to GFCIs
- Consider upgrading regular outlets in your garage to a GFCI. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are designed to protect you and your devices from shock caused by short circuits and ground faults.
- Check your garage for any existing GFCI outlets. GFCI outlets are easily identified by the test and reset buttons located in between the two plugs. This will help determine which outlets require an upgrade.
- To install GFCI outlets in your garage, contact Salt Light & Electric for affordable outlet installation services.
Maintain your garage electrical safety with these essential tips! Salt Light & Electric is your number-one resource for any electrical request you have. Whether your garage needs outlet installation services or an electrical safety inspection, we are at your command with the best quality in Central Texas. Call us at (512) 956-7842 to schedule an appointment and get started.
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