Keeping your electrical wirings, outlets, and connections in check make you a good home owner. Some home owners tend to ignore the tell tale signs in bad electrical conditions. But what they probably don’t realize is how detrimental it can be, not only for all family members but also to the entire house!
Electrical installations in poor conditions are one of the primary causes of fires and electrical shocks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Electrical failures and malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012-2016. Accounting for 13% of home structure fires. Fires involving electrical failures or malfunctions accounted for the highest share of civilian deaths (18%) and direct property damage (20%).”
You know that going the extra mile in protecting your decade-long home and its inhabitants is the right thing to do. Here are five electrical safety tips to keep you and everyone safe at home.
5 Electrical safety tips
1. Keep hazardous electrical components from children.
Children are very inquisitive little beings. They try to munch on everything they see and touch every colourful or interesting object nearby. The first rule of electrical safety tips at home is to protect your children from anything that can cause electrocution.
On May 21st, 2019, a toddler in India had recently died after putting the charger lead on its mouth. The mother had been charging her phone. She unplugged the phone from the charger but had forgotten to switch the outlet off.
Trivial things like this may not matter in a smaller picture. However, the consequences in a bigger picture will make you regret everything. Here are some things you can do to protect your children from electrical hazards:
- Don’t install wires haphazardly
- Keep cords organized by tying them together
- Keep cords out of reach of children
- Unplug chargers and any appliance cords when not in use
- Switch off power boards when not in use
- Don’t leave extension wires on the floor
- Avoid laying small electrical hazards at an arm’s length from children
2. Don’t leave anything on in an empty home.
This may seem like the most apparent tip of all, but this is also the most overlooked from all the electrical safety tips.
Always see to it that you (or anyone who leaves the house last) turns off every home appliance in every room. Coffee makers, heaters, air conditioners, television sets, computers, you name it; turn them off and have peace of mind the entire day you’re out.
Also, unplug cords from blowers, chargers, any home appliance or kitchen equipment when leaving the house.
3. Never overload a circuit.
Different appliances may need different circuit amp levels to operate. For instance, hair dryers or toasters may need a 20-amp circuit, while water heaters may need a 50-amp circuit.
If you don’t install a designated circuit for each group of electrical equipment, then never overload a circuit by plugging everything on it at the same time.
A low-amp circuit may not be able to handle the excess current that goes through the wires. This causes the external layer of the wires to melt and ignite combustible materials like curtains or floors.
4. Discard or change frayed cords.
Say, a piece of hair iron has a frayed cord with the stripped wires peeking out from the plastic insulation; it’s time to either ditch the hair iron or change the cable entirely.
If you don’t see the danger of plugging a frayed cord into an active wall outlet, then there’s something wrong with you. These wires hold current that may electrocute someone or even burn the house down.
5. Replace receptacles in poor condition.
Receptacles or commonly known as ‘wall outlets’ should be checked from time to time. Wall outlets also wear out over time. So it’s essential to look for signs on when they need replacements or fixing for that matter.
Discoloured wall outlets, cracked wall outlets, plugs falling out, sparks when plugging, or a burnt smell are all tell tale signs of a house fire waiting to happen.
Author Bio: Sarah Brooks is an outdoor enthusiast, travel blogger and coffee lover. When not hiking, she can be found spending time with her family. She is currently working with RytecElectric, the best residential electrician in Columbia SC. Which offers a wide range of residential installation and electrical repair services, as well as 24-hour emergency services and FREE Electrical Estimates.