Electricity has made our lives more convenient and enjoyable in many ways. From your coffee maker to dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner to your dimmer lights in the bedroom – take a look around your house, and you’ll see that almost everything runs through electricity.
However, electricity can be a double-edged sword and wreak havoc on properties, even destroy lives. Each year, electrical fires in homes have caused injuries, deaths and significant damages to properties. But, that doesn’t end there. These electrical fires could have been prevented, and avoided altogether if homeowners practice electrical safety and take precautionary measures when dealing with electricity at home.
Below we give you the list of electrical safety tips you and your family should practice at home.
10 Electrical Safety Tips You Should Not Ignore
- Do not overload your outlets.
Overloading an electrical outlet with too many plugged devices is one of the main culprits of electrical fires. Ideally, you should only plug one heat-producing appliance in an electrical outlet at a time.
- Replace or repair any damaged or worn out power cords.
Power cords are also subject to wear and tear. Exposed wires from power cords can potentially cause electrocution or even ignite a fire. You shouldn’t ignore or delay replacing them. You can put black tape around them for temporary repair, but for your safety, you should consider replacing them with new ones as soon as possible.
- As much as possible avoid using extension cords.
Extension cords are both electrical and tripping hazards and should only be used as a temporary solution. Major appliances, however, like refrigerators, electric stoves, and dryers should be plugged directly into the wall outlet and never on extension cords or plug strips.
- Be extra cautious when you have young children around.
Young children are just beginning to explore things, and their curiosity level is intense. Make sure that you keep dangerous appliances such as blenders, electric kettles, and toasters away from your children’s reach. Secure your outlets with covers and safety caps and tidy up loose cords and keep them away from children who may be playing or tugging them.
- Unplug any unused appliances to reduce the risk of electrical hazards.
This is probably the easiest way to protect your home from electrical hazards but, is sadly the most neglected one as well. Unplugging unused appliances from the electrical outlets protect them from damages caused by sudden power surges and at the same time may help you save energy. Many appliances at home actually keep using electricity even after they have been turned off.
- Keep the outlets and other electrical appliances away from wet areas.
Water and electricity is a recipe for disaster. Additionally, you should not work with electricity when your hands are wet to avoid injuries from electric shocks.
- Always follow the guidelines on the instructional manual for your appliances.
Manufacturers purposefully include the owner’s manual in your appliance purchase to serve as your guide on how to properly use them, as well as to avoid malfunctioning and potential electrical hazards.
- Make sure your home is properly grounded.
To enhance your home protection against electrical hazards, use GCFIs or Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters which work by monitoring imbalance in electric current flow and react automatically by shutting off a faulty or tripping electronic circuit.
- Ensure that you only use the correct wattage in all your bulbs, appliances, and other electric fixtures.
Appliances and bulbs should come with labels indicating their wattages and these are not placed there without a purpose. You need to follow them to avoid short-circuits or overloading your electrical wiring system.
- For your safety, any major electrical works at home should be done only by a licensed electrician.
While many homeowners may try to do things themselves, primarily to save on labor costs, when it comes to electrical works it’s best to leave the job to a licensed electrician.