It's always important to protect your home against stormy weather, especially if you live on the coast of Australia where storms are particularly common. However, too many homeowners focus solely on defending against structural damage like broken windows and blown roof shingles. It's equally important, if not more so, to ensure your home's electrical system is protected. If you don't, you run the risk of shorts and failures (which can be devastating when you're trapped at home during a storm) or even electrical fires.
Thankfully, it's not too difficult to protect your home from electrical damage if you prepare in advance. Here are three ways to ensure your safety.
1. Keep up with regular inspections
First and foremost, remember to schedule regular house-wide checks with your electrician every few years. If you already have an electrical fault, your system is far more likely to suffer serious damage in the storm. Not every fault is immediately obvious, so be sure to keep up with your inspections even if your electricals seem fine at face value.
2. Make sure you have GFCIs
From the refrigerator in your kitchen to the hairdryer in your bathroom, electrical appliances near water need to have GFCIs installed. Waterworks can burst or erupt during storms, and as you likely know, water and electricity are a dangerous mix. GFCIs (short for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are circuit breakers that are designed to specifically prevent electrical shocks, taking them one step further than a typical fuse. Integrated into your outlets, these interrupters cut off power as soon as your appliance's current is interrupted by water flow, keeping you safe from electrocution. GFCI-protected outlets typically have an indicator light and a reset button; if you don't see outlets like this in your home, make sure to get them installed by an electrician as soon as you can. It's a good idea to replace the outlets near your doors and windows too, as these could let in water if a storm causes a flood.
3. Consider installing a backup generator
Storms can leave families without power for quite some time. When phone batteries start to die and emergency snacks aren't filling you up, living without electricity becomes difficult. Getting an emergency generator installed outside your home is a great way to ensure you'll always have power. There are generators designed to weather storms that can provide you power for days or even weeks if needed, giving you plenty of time to have any electrical damage repaired post-storm.
Form ore information, contact a local electrician.