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Electrical  /  January 21, 2021

Electricity Home Safety 101: Everything You Need to Know

Electricity is a staple in our lives. It powers our homes by giving us lights, providing us access to entertainment, warming our food and more. Thanks to electricity, life is more enjoyable in many ways- but this doesn’t mean it comes risk-free.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical malfunctions or failures are the leading culprits behind house fires. Electrical failures or malfunctions were responsible for 13 percent of residential fires from 2012 to 2016. Electrical failure also accounted for 11 percent of civilian injuries, 18 percent of civilian deaths and 20 percent of property damage.

Basic electrical safety can save your home and your life. Gain some knowledge on basic safety by consulting with local electrical contractors or electricians.

Also, keep the following tips in mind.

Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home

Many electrical fires can be prevented by practicing safety. Below are safety precautions every homeowner should follow. Remember: if you’re uncertain about an electrical appliance or outlet, always ask a professional.

  1. Unplug all unused appliances to reduce your risks.

One of the simplest electrical safety precautions is also one most homeowners forget: when you’re not using an appliance, unplug it. Apart from the huge savings from electrical costs by reducing the phantom drain (aka the number of energy appliances consume when not actively in use), unplugging unused appliances prevents them from power surges or overheating. Make it a habit before you say goodnight to the family, too.

Remembering to unplug unused appliances can be tricky, but smart plugs are here to help. Use these plugs to set power schedules for your outlets.

  1. Repair or replace damaged electrical cords.

Damaged power cords pose serious safety risks for your home since these can cause electrocution and fires. All extension and power cords should be regularly checked for signs of cracking and fraying. These should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Also, refrain from stapling power cords into place or run them under furniture and rugs. Cords placed under rugs do not just overheat; they also pose a tripping hazard, while furniture can damage wires and crush cord insulation.

  1. Check if you’re using the correct wattage in all your appliances and fixtures.

The right light bulbs reduce your risk for electrical problems, so check all lights, lamps, appliances and fixtures to ensure you’re using the correct wattage. Always use 60-watt bulbs or less. Twenty-five-watt bulbs are ideal for unmarked ceiling fixtures.

  1. Watch out for overloaded outlets.

Overloaded electrical outlets are a common culprit behind most electrical problems. Make sure your outlets have protective faceplates, are cool to the touch and are working well. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), following outlet safety tips can save lives.

Follow these electrical outlet safety tips:

  • Have qualified electricians check hot outlets
  • Use smart plugs to monitor outlet power loads
  • Only plug one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time
  • Refrain from using multi-outlet converters or extension cords for appliances
  1. Keep outlets and electrical devices away from water.

Electricity and water don’t mix well. To prevent shock injuries, keep electrical equipment dry and away from water. Apart from preventing damage, doing so keeps appliances in good condition and protects your family from electrocution. Always have dry hands when working with electrical appliances. Also, keep electrical equipment away from showers, sinks, aquariums, plant pots and bathtubs to lower the risk of electricity coming to water.

  1. Clean your exhaust fans to prevent fire hazards.

Some appliances have exhaust fans, which can get clogged or dirty with debris, making appliances exert more effort. This shortens the lifespan of an appliance and causes electrical risks due to overheating. It may also cause a buildup of dangerous gases, which can result in fire hazards. Cleaning exhaust fans can prevent such hazards.

  1. Mind heaters to prevent potential accidents.

Keep combustible items away from built-in furnaces and portable heaters. To ensure furnace safety, store combustible items away from heated appliances. Refrain from operating portable heaters close to drapes. To reduce the likelihood of tripping accidents, place them on a stable surface.

  1. Follow instructions for better electrical safety.

You can never go wrong with reading and following the instructions. Understanding how to safely operate appliances keep you safe and prolong the lifespan of your devices. In case you experience an electrical shock, stop using the appliance and have it checked by an electrician.

Electrical safety matters in any home. From lighting your home to powering your appliances, electricity is worthy of your attention and consideration. By practicing these safety tips at home, you lower your risks for accidents and keep your family safe.

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