Electrical Safety Tips at Home
There are a countless amount of incidents within homes that involve electrical fires and electrocution. Most people don’t take the time to think about electrical safety at home because they assume that since they are in their home, they are automatically safe. This is not the case. It is important to be aware of everything in your home, that includes all electrical wiring. Electrical fires happen all the time in homes due to issues with electrical equipment, this includes lamps, cords, etc.
There are some precautions you can take to ensure that your home is the safest it can be for yourself and your community. It is important to make sure you are being extremely cautious when checking electrical wiring for any issues or damage. Do not hesitate to call a professional if you do not feel comfortable doing anything yourself, or if you are even slightly unsure if something seems faulty or not. Below are a few things you can do to make sure that your home and the people in it and around it are as safe as possible from any electrical incidents.
Precautions to take for Electrical Safety:
1.) The most important thing to check, and the easiest, is the use of your electrical sockets. Make sure you do not have too many plugs plugged into the electrical sockets. You want to avoid any overload. You can check each outlet to make sure it is cool to the touch. If the outlet feels at all warm or hot, call a professional. It is also important to make sure your sockets have protective faceplates. Avoid using any extension cords or multi-outlet converters to power appliances and make sure there is only one heat-producing appliance plugged into an outlet at a time. Power strips are great to use and make things easier, but you must remember that the power strip does not change the amount of power that the outlet receives. Do not overwhelm your outlet just because you have a power strip.
2.) The next check you have to do is on the power cords themselves. Verify that all power cords are working well. Check all the power cords for overheating, tears, or fraying. If there is any damage on the power cord, you must immediately replace or repair it. Try to abstain from running power cords under rugs or furniture. A cord under a rug has a higher risk of overheating, and can be a tripping hazard. Cords under furniture can get their insulation crushed and cause damage. In addition to checking on cords that are being used, make sure all cords that are not being used are kept neatly in a safe place. Keep unused cords in a cool place to avoid damage to the insulation or wires. Keep them out of reach of children and animals that risk them being chewed or played with.
3.) Keep all appliances that are not being used unplugged. This may seem like a no-brainer, or maybe even pointless, but just because the appliance is not being used do not mean it is not using power. An appliance that is plugged in, but is not being used, is as big of a risk as one that is in use. You can also save power and energy by unplugging appliances that aren’t in use because it is still consuming energy even though it is not doing anything. Unplugging the appliances also helps prevent overheating or power surges. It is also a good idea to follow appliance instructions to ensure proper care and use of it.
4.) This tip should seem obvious, but keep your electrical devices and outlets away from water. Keep all electrical equipment dry to prevent damage and possible electrocution or injury to yourself. That being said, do not handle electrical devices with wet hands—keep your hands dry.
5.) Look at placement of electrical equipment and appliances. You want to make sure that there is enough air circulation to prevent overheating and possible electrical fires. Try to stray from keeping appliances in cabinets or drawers that do not have much space or are closed off—they must have enough space for circulation. Pay extra mind to your gas or electric dryer and make sure it is positioned far enough from any walls to give it enough circulation. Additionally, make sure that all exhaust fans in the appliances are clean. Exhaust fans can get clogged or dirty which cause it to work harder and burn out quicker. If the exhaust fan is not working properly, you run the risk of the appliance overheating, or a build up of hazardous gases. It is better to stay safe, determine which appliances of yours have and utilize exhaust fans and then clean them regularly.
6.) It is important to store flammable objects away from electronics and appliances. Combustible items should also be kept away from portable heaters and built-in furnaces. Keep portable heaters on flat, stable surfaces, and away from anything that hangs and is flammable, such as curtains or drapes, to ensure it will run properly and safely.
7.) Be mindful of proper wattage for light bulbs. Check all lamps, fixtures, and appliances to make sure you are putting the correct bulb in it. The correct wattage will usually be labeled, but if it is not clearly stated anywhere, use a low-wattage bulb to ensure you do not cause any problems.
8.) It is crucial you keep your children informed of electrical safety. Keep appliances out of reach, use safety caps and covers on outlets to avoid children sticking their fingers in them.
It is especially crucial that you keep up with electrical safety. Routine checks and professional maintenance is important in order to avoid any problems. Electricity is not a joke and must be taken seriously. So often we take for granted the fact that we have access to electricity to power any and everything at our fingertips. We must make sure we are utilizing that ability as safely as possible. Incidents and problems with electrical devices and appliances can be avoided if you are prepared and informed.
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