Electricity is necessary for powering appliances, lighting, air conditioning, and security systems. However, the use of electricity also comes with risks. Accidents like shock and electrocution can cause serious injuries and even death. Here are a few tips for electrical safety in the home.
Electrical Safety in the Home: Hire a Pro
Some homeowners hope to save time and money by tackling electric projects on their own. This is risky because of the dangers involved when dealing with electricity. Always hire a trained professional any time there’s an electrical issue in your home. Even if you think you know how to fix the problem, don’t attempt to make repairs yourself. An electrician has the tools and safety equipment to handle a job properly.
Know How to Switch the Power Off
Shocks and electrocution can occur when any part of the electrical system malfunctions. If you notice outlets that are hot to the touch or there is a light fixture that flickers, turn the power off. Switch the breaker to that circuit off and call a professional to troubleshoot the issue and make repairs.
Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Dry your hands before plugging in an appliance or electrical device. Keep appliances away from the bathtub and sinks. Don’t operate electric devices with damp hands. Make sure your home has GFCI outlets installed in places like the kitchen and bathroom where water is often used.
Electrical Safety for Children in the Home
Curious children will explore anything in the house. It’s important to keep young kids away from electrical outlets. Babyproof your home with outlet covers to help prevent injuries and shock. Keep electrical cords and extension cords off of the floor, as these can pose a tripping hazard. Teach children that appliances and electronics are not toys and instruct them on proper use.
Don’t Overload Outlets
Overloading an electrical outlet can cause it to overheat and damage appliances and the electrical system in your home. Don’t use outlet extenders or power strips, as these encourage overuse of an outlet. If you find you frequently need more power outlets, hire an electrician to add another circuit to your home and install additional outlets.
Replace Worn Out Cords
With use, an electrical cord might develop cracks or begin to fray. This may result in live wires that can lead to fire or electrocution. Regularly check the condition of your electrical cords. If you notice damage, replace the cord or purchase a new appliance.