Knowing How To Have A Home Electrical Safety
What Is The Main Cause Of Electrical Fires In Homes?
At least 69% of electrical fires in any home are attributable to damaged or faulty wiring or related electrical equipment. These fires can also be caused by light fixtures, laps, plugs, cords, transformers and other power supplies. To secure your home from potential fire hazards, you need to consult a professional electrician or hire someone expert in doing residential lighting.
10 Electrical Safety Tips In Your Home
You can prevent some of these electrical fires by using the safety tips outlined below. Make sure you know them by heart and follow them in the event of an emergency. If you are not sure about the safety of a particular appliance or electrical outlet, you should always seek the advice of a professional.
1. Right Wattage
Make sure you are using the right wattage in all the appliances and fixtures in your home. Check all the lamps and ensure you are using the right bulbs. If there is no wattage instructions listed on the fixture, you should use 60 watts bulbs or less. If the ceiling fixtures are unmarked, you should use 25 watts bulbs. Opt for LED bulbs because they consume less power and will reduce the risk of overheating from the fixtures.
2. Overloaded Outlets
Protect your home by checking all the outlets to make sure they are not overloaded. It’s one of the common causes of electrical problems. Make sure the outlets are cool to the touch and are in proper working order. They should also have protective faceplates. Here are some of the safety tips to consider for your electrical outlets.
- Do not use multi-outlet converters or extension cords for your appliances.
- Make sure there is only one heat producing appliance placed in a specific outlet at a time.
- Make sure the hot outlets are checked by professional electricians.
- Using power strips will add outlets but will not change the amount of power going into that outlet.
- Use smart plugs to check the outlet power loads and start shutting off the appliances if one of the outlets starts overheating.
3. Repair And Replace Damaged Electrical Cords
Using damaged power cords is a serious electrical safety risk in your home. They are likely going to electrocute you or cause a fire. Check your power and extension cords regularly for signs of cracking, fraying or damage. If present, you should repair or replace them immediately.
Make sure your power cords are not stapled into the place or run under your rugs or furniture. That’s because they can cause tripping and are likely going to overheat. On the other hand, the furniture can crush the cord insulation causing damage to the wires.
If you are regularly using extension cords, it might be because you don’t have enough outlets in your home to fit your needs. You can hire a qualified electrician with a proper understanding of electrical safety rules to install extra outlets in any areas where you are prone to using extension cords.
Also, when buying new extension cords, you should consider the electrical load. For instance, an extension cord with a load of 16 AWG can handle at least 1375 watts. For heavier loads, you should use a 12 or 14 AWG cord.
4. Make Sure The Used And Unused Cords Are Tidy
Even when not in use, your cords also need to apply the electrical safety rules. Make sure any cords not in use are stored safely to avoid damage. They should be stored away from pets or children who may play or chew on them.
Don’t wrap the cords tightly around objects because they might stretch and result in overheating. Also, you should never place a cord on a hot surface because it might damage the insulation and the wires inside.
5. Unplug Any Unused Appliances
If an appliance is not in use, make sure you unplug it. It’s a great way to reduce power since it will reduce the phantom drain in the overall energy consumed by the appliance when not in use. When you unplug them, you can also protect them from power surges or overheating.
Most people often forget to unplug unused appliances. However, with smart plugs, you can set the right power schedules for each outlet for the best results.
6. Keep Outlets And Electrical Devices Away From Water
Water and electricity makes a bad combination. Keep all your electrical equipment dry. It should also be away from water. That way, you can prevent damage to the appliances. On the other hand, you will protect yourself from electrocution or personal injury.
When you are working with electrical appliances, you should always have dry hands. All your electrical equipment should be placed away from showers, plant pots, bathtubs and any contact with water. That way, you can reduce the risk of electricity and water coming into contact.
7. Proper Air Circulation For Your Appliances
If your electrical appliances don’t have proper air circulation, they are likely going to overheat and short out. Eventually, they will become electrical fire hazards. You should make sure that they have proper air circulation. For instance, you should run electrical equipment in enclosed cabinets.
Any flammable objects in your home should be stored far away from appliances and electronics. Make sure that your electric or gas dryer is installed at least a foot away from the wall to allow proper functioning.
8. Clean Your Exhaust Fans
If your appliances use exhaust fans, they are likely to become clogged or dirty because of debris. As a result, the appliance will work extra harder to maintain efficiency. Eventually, the life span of the appliance will be affected. Even worse, there will be a huge fire risk to your home because of overheating.
If not checked, the buildup of debris can also create dangerous gases that are likely to cause an electrical fire hazard. You should clean the exhaust fans regularly to prevent such hazards.
9. Follow Appliance Instructions
You need to know how to operate the appliances in your home safely. That way, you can guarantee your personal safety and improve the performance of the appliance. If there is any electrical shock coming from the appliance, you should stop using it immediately and hire a qualified electrician to check for any problems.
10. Check Your Heaters And Water Heaters Regularly
Make sure that all combustible items are stored away from built-in furnaces or portable heaters. You should not use the portable heaters close to your window coverings such as drapes or blinds. Make sure they are used on a stable surface to avoid tipping. Don’t set high temperatures on your water heater because you will end up using a lot of energy. Also, high temperatures can cause burns and scalding, especially if you have small children.
In conclusion, use these and many more tips to ensure electrical safety in your home!