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Power for Progress: Fuses, breakers, and electric circuits

Power for Progress: Fuses, breakers, and electric circuits

More about electric safety
May is National Electric Safety Month and GRDA is proud to join in the effort to encourage safety by sharing important tips all month long.

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Recognizing National Electric Safety Month …

Fuses, breakers, and electric circuits


May is National Electric Safety Month and the Grand River Dam Authority is proud to join with organizations like the Electric Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to pass along important safety tips all month long.

This week we want to share some information about some electric components that can be found in every residence: fuses or breakers. Remember, NEVER attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional electrician can help prevent electrical fires, injuries and even fatalities.

  • First, 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 GRDA encourage you to always put safety first when it comes to electricity. For more helpful tips, visit esfi.org.


GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power 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.


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