Fuses, breakers and electric circuits …

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

May is National Electric Safety Month and GRDA is proud to join with organization like the Electric Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to pass along important safety tips during the month.

Power pointers …. GRDA is proud to join with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in recognizing May as National Electric Safety Month. This week’s focus is on fuses and breakers.

Power pointers …. GRDA is proud to join with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in recognizing May as National Electric Safety Month. This week’s focus is on fuses and breakers.

This week we want to share some information about some electric components that can be found in every residence: fuses or breakers.

 · First of all, whether your home uses fuses or breakers, be sure that your electric panel is properly labeled so that you can quickly turn off and restore electricity when necessary.

· Fuses are commonly found in older homes. Breakers began appearing in homes built in the early 1960s and later.

· Fuses use a filament that melts when it overloads. After that, they must be replaced with a fuse of the same rating. Use of an oversized fuse is a fire hazard.

· Breakers trip when an electrical current exceeds levels determined by the breaker capacity. While they can be reset (do not have to be replaced like a fuse), frequent trips of a breaker do indicate a problem and it should be checked by a licensed electrician.

· Since the early 2000s, breakers have evolved. Today most electrical circuits should have AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) breakers. These breakers should be tested monthly.

· Finally, all electric distribution systems in your home should have an electrical inspection if the home is older than 40 years or has had a major addition, renovation or the addition of a large appliance.

Your friends at the Grand River Dam Authority encourage you to always put safety first when it comes to electricity. For more helpful tips, visit esfi.org.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.