8 Ways to Prevent Electrical Hazards in Your Home [Guest Post]January 7, 2020
When you’ve just moved into a new house, you have millions of things to do. Looking at the electrical wiring might be the last thing on your list, but your home has the potential to become a landmine of electrical safety hazards. With our dependence on electricity, electrical short circuits can cause significant disruptions in our lives and extensive damage to our homes. Here are a few ways to prevent electrical hazards in your home:
1. Keep Your Electrical Appliances Away from Water
This rule of thumb needs to be followed blindly. A common cause of electric shock is using appliances near water sources, like the bathroom or kitchen. If a plugged-in device falls into water, do not attempt to unplug it or pull it out.
Your first step should be to go to your home’s electric panel board to shut the power off to avoid an electrical short circuit. Then, you can safely unplug your device and dry it. But, exercise caution before plugging in the electric equipment — you need to first make sure that it is completely dry and fit for use
2. Pay Attention to the Signals that Your Appliances Are Sending Out
If your electric appliances are repeatedly tripping, blowing a fuse, or if you are getting a slight electric shock, be cautious. These can all be precursors to a more serious malfunction. If one of your appliances is showing these signs, it’s best to consult a professional electrician before you use it again.
3. Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
If you have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) installed in your new home, it can save you from a short circuit. A GFCI can detect current leakages in an electrical circuit, when a powered device will have made contact with water, or if it has any other problem. The GFCI then shuts off the power, which prevents an electrical short circuit.
4. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Size of Circuit Breakers and Fuses
If the fuses and circuit breakers you are using don’t match the specifications of their circuits, they are going to fail when you need them to perform the most. It’s best to have an electrician evaluate the circuit breaker and fuse size before you install them.
5. Use Outlet Covers
Outlet covers can be lifesavers, especially in a house with kids. Outlet covers, or even child safety wall plates, will feature a built-in, retractable cover that will snap into place when not in use.
6. Avoid Using Electrical Outlet Stretching Devices
Cube taps, power strips, extension cords, and other types of electrical outlet stretching devices might be convenient, but they can overload your circuit, cause a short circuit, and even catch fire.
Sometimes, it’s unavoidable and you need to use these items. If you do need to use one, just be sure it’s high-quality, in good condition, that you’re not overloading the outlet, and that you unplug or turn them off when not in use.
7. Replace Broken Wall Plates
Wall plates protect you from coming into direct contact with the electrical wiring behind you. If you have a broken wall plate or one that’s missing entirely and you’re fumbling around for a switch in the dark, the consequences can be disastrous if you end up touching live wires. Plus, a missing or broken wall plate leave live wires exposed, which increases the risk of an electrical short circuit or an electrical fire.
8. Treat Your Cords With Respect
Make sure you don’t put excessive pressure on your cords or misuse your cord extensions. Extreme pressure on the power cables can damage insulation or compress the conducting wire and put you at risk of an electrical short circuit. Cord wraps can help strengthen cords and make them last longer. But, if you see cords beginning to break or fray, it’s time to replace them.
These are just a few ways to prevent electrical hazards in your home. Not only can these and other fire safety tips for your home help prevent damaging fires in your home, but they also help protect you and your family. Using good quality electrical wiring will lessen the possibility of an electrical short circuit at home and can protect your home and save you a lot of money in property damage.
Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D & F Liquidators in Hayward, CA and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field.