Everyone uses electricity in their home and it's become such an essential and accepted part of modern living that it is largely taken for granted as a resource that we use. However, we shouldn't ignore the problems electricity can cause if it isn't treated properly and mustn't underestimate the dangers.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there is an average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires in the U.S. each year and these result in almost 500 deaths, injuries to over 1,400 people and property damage amounting to more than $1.3 billion. The majority of these fires result from electrical failure or malfunction and around half involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also reports that almost 400 people are electrocuted every year in the country, with occurrences of all types understandably tending to peak in the winter months.
Although each of these incidents is a personal tragedy for those affected, there are some often quite basic measures that can be taken to prevent many of them occurring. These include an understanding of safety principles and adopting safe practices, and the best way to protect against electrical problems is to use a qualified electrician to carry out checks and necessary work throughout the home. This can open up plenty of opportunities for future work that may lead to long-term relationships with residential customers.
Providing a Service
In order to provide a professional service that truly helps home owners, you need to be organized and clear about what you can provide. This can include:
- ensuring wiring is up-to-date or if it needs upgrading or replacing
- checking electrical circuits are not over-loaded and extension cords are not used extensively in dangerous places; if they are, avoid future problems by fitting additional circuits and outlets
- replacing electrical cords that are loose or damaged
- installing tamper resistant outlets where children are present
- fitting smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors or, if already fitted, making sure they are in good working order
- ensuring all switches and outlets fit properly, don't cause circuits to trip or fuses to blow, aren't discolored due to over-heating and don't get warm or make noises such as buzzing or crackling when in use; replace any that are deficient
- confirming that lamps have the correct bulbs and all appliances are used correctly with appropriate fuse protection; electrical fires are commonly caused by washers, dryers, fans and space heaters while halogen light bulbs have a higher fire risk than other types
- fitting electrical panels with arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where there is moisture (such as kitchens and bathrooms).
If you provide a competent and professional service, you'll help to save lives and will enhance your reputation as a provider of necessary safety services. That will lead to further work for new customers and open up other opportunities with existing ones.