There is an average of 53,000 home electrical fires every year in the United States. As a result, preventing electrical hazards should be of prime importance for every family. There are a number of easy steps electricians recommend to keep a home and family safe. Read on for some important advice from this electrician.
Step 1: Update Your Home’s Electrical System
When a previously owned home is purchased, many older wiring systems are “grandfathered in.” This means that many homes, though new for the owner, may have wiring that is not up to standard codes. In addition, broken or missing wall plates can be electrical hazards as well. These are provided not just for appearance but for protection as well. With that said, many electricians will recommend that outlets in areas near water be replaced by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These plug-ins prevent electrical shock due to mixing water and electricity.
Step 2: Consider the Electrical Hazards of Water
Everyone heard the warnings as children not to mix electricity and water. But as adults, what seems like common sense can at times be forgotten. If an appliance is turned off and falls into water, do not reach in and remove it! This is an electrical hazard, as there could still be a current running through it. Immediately go to the circuit panel and shut off power to that specific circuit. Before using the item again, be sure to have the approval of an electrician to prevent further electrical hazards.
Step 3: Take Care of Appliances
Any appliance that is not working correctly is a red flag and should be inspected by a licensed electrician. If a microwave repeatedly blows a fuse, it should no longer be used until it has been inspected and approved by an electrician. Continuing to use appliances that are not in proper working order are unnecessary electrical hazards that can easily be avoided. In addition, pay close attention to a lamp’s wattage rating and only use light bulbs at or under the maximum wattage. The wattage rating usually may be found around printed around the lamp socket.
Step 4: Do Monthly “Electric Checks”
In order to ensure the safety of any home, monthly “electric checks” are a must. There are a number of things that every homeowner should look for. Power cords should not have anything resting on them. In addition, never place them under rugs or carpeting as these are electrical hazards. Also, avoid using popular cube taps that allow more than two appliances to be plugged into the same outlet. These can overload and cause an electrical fire.
With the number of injuries due to electrical hazards that are reported annually in the United States, every homeowner should take the above steps for preventing electrical hazards in their home. By following this advice and that of your electrician, you too may rest easy with the knowledge that you have protected your family from undue and preventable harm.