Avoiding Accidents from Electricity
An electrical fire can happen in a split second and cause extensive damage to your home. It’s important to know the risks of working with electricity and how to avoid incidents. Here are some tips for electrical safety in the home that will help you stay safe and protect your household from electrical hazards.
Unplug Appliances Before Repairing
When repairing an appliance, it should be unplugged from its outlet until repairs are completed to prevent electrical shocks and fires. There could be loose wiring or faulty power outlets that might trip a circuit breaker or fuse and cause a fire due to your repair efforts.
Be Careful Around Water
Water can cause an electrical appliance to short circuit which introduces the risk of fire. Keep liquids away from electrical equipment and use only a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean them. Invest in outlet covers for the kitchen and bathroom to protect receptacles from water. If your home floods, unplug all appliances and shut off power to the flooded area.
Don’t Overload Outlets for Electrical Safety
Overloads happen when you plug too many appliances into a power strip or extension cord, causing the circuit to shut off. The number of appliances you plug into an outlet should never exceed what the outlet is rated for.
Don’t use more than one high wattage appliance on the same outlet at the same time. This can lead to electrical shorts, excessive heat, and sparks, which could ignite a fire. Unplug appliances that aren’t being used until you can get an electrician to install more outlets.
Replace Outdated Outlets with GFCIs
GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are specialized outlets that help prevent electrical shocks, electrocutions, and fires by instantly shutting off the power to an area whenever there is a voltage interruption caused by a short in the circuit.
GFCIs are like an automatic shut-off switch, which means that if something wrong happens with the current, it will be shut off before it becomes a serious problem. They are an essential item for electrical safety and should be installed throughout your home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Hire a Licensed Electrician for Electrical Safety
It’s recommended for homeowners to have electrical work performed by a licensed electrician with experience in installing, troubleshooting, and replacing electrical wiring.
Hiring a professional is much safer. Electricians will help make sure your home is free from hazards such as faulty wiring or overloaded outlets or extension cords.
Practice Electrical Safety by Plugging Appliances into Surge Protectors
Surge protectors are devices that protect electronics from voltage spikes. Surge protectors help prevent appliances from being damaged during an electrical storm or similar occurrence that causes a surge.
Never plug a refrigerator, air conditioner, or other appliance that contains a compressor into a surge protector. The compressor is sensitive to changes in temperature and current overloads, and it will automatically shut down with a surge.