Exercise more.  Eat less.  Save more money.  These are the common New Year’s resolutions designed to keep us healthy and financially sound.  Very few people make New Year’s resolutions about their home’s electrical system.  Here are 12 such resolutions (one for every month) that are also vital for your health, safety and financial well being.

  1.  Purchase a generator to protect your home in case of an extended power outage.
  2. Consider rewiring your house, especially if you have frequent blown fuses or your circuit breakers keep switching off.  
  3. Clearly label your fuses and circuit breakers, whether or not you rewire your house.
  4. Install a whole house surge protector that prevents excess electricity from entering your home.  Install individual surge protectors on expensive appliances and electronics.
  5. Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where electricity might come in contact with water.  This includes kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and garages, to name a few.  And test them monthly and after power outages.
  6. Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least monthly.  And remember, you should have one of each on every floor.  By law, you should have one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of every gas burning appliance and bedroom.
  7. Replace appliances that have worn, frayed or damaged cords.
  8. Install spring-loaded, tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs) to electrical outlets if you have young children at home or if young children (like your grandkids) frequently come to your home. These are preferred over caps, which are considered a choking hazard.
  9. Reduce energy consumption by unplugging appliances that are not being used, shutting off computers and turning off lights.  Also purchase power strips to reduce your plug load.
  10. Swap out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs, which use 75% less energy than incandescents and last as much as 50 times longer.
  11. Consider replacing appliances that are more than 10 years old.  Newer models likely will be much more energy-efficient, in addition to having many new features to enhance convenience and comfort.
  12. Consider making your home a technology “smart” home that allows for pre-programmed or remote ability to control your home’s temperature and lighting, as well as monitor smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and home security systems.