When it comes to electricity, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why you should always follow these 5 important electrical safety rules in your home.
Keyword(s): electrical safety rules
It’s hard to go through your day without using several electrical devices in your home. Both the world and the inner workings of our own homes is so reliant on devices and new technology. You probably spend hours a week turning different devices on and off.
But these devices pose a certain threat if not used properly. Thousands of home fires are caused every year by electrical misuse or malfunction. People end up in the hospital as a result of being shocked or making contact with an electric current.
It’s easy to get lulled into a sense of security in your home, but you should always ensure you and your family are interacting with electrical devices in a safe manner. Read on, and we’ll walk you through five electrical safety rules you should ensure that you’re following.
1. Unplug Appliances That You Aren’t Using
It’s natural to want to keep various devices and appliances plugged in so that they’re ready to use when you need them. But the simple act of unplugging devices when they’re not in use can provide much more safety to your home.
When an appliance is plugged in but not in use, a small circuit always remains powered. This circuit uses a very small amount of electricity, only five or ten watts. But combined across your home and all of your devices, it may be a load that is costing you money.
Moreso, keeping appliances plugged in increases the risk of incident. If an AC transformer was to overheat or short out, it could spark a fire in any plugged in device. Many fire departments encourage homeowners to unplug appliances and devices when they aren’t in use.
2. Be Careful with Your Cords
Practicing proper cord etiquette is a great way to ensure electric safety in your home. Cracks, splits, or kinks in a cord can break and cause electrical shocks or even fires if not taken care of.
Taking the time to check on the well being of the cords around your house can help minimize risk. For the same reasons, ensure that cords are only used for their intended purpose, and are not repurposed to do any other task.
It’s advised you never staple or nail a cord in place, as this can be dangerous to yourself and the integrity of the cord. If you need to stick a cord up in a difficult place, try using zip-ties or strong tape.
When laying out cords, keep it out from under carpets and common footpaths, and away from other heated appliances. Having an active electrical cord close to other electrical heat could cause something as severe as a small explosion.
3. Be Careful Around Outlets
Outlets are the hub where electricity enters your home and should be treated with great care and precaution. If you have children, it’s very important to teach them the proper outlet procedure so that they don’t injure themselves.
You should never place anything in an outlet except for a properly sized plug. Don’t try to force mismatched plugs into outlets. Never, ever stick anything else besides a plug into an outlet.
When unplugging cords from the wall, always pull the cord out from the outlet. Never yank a cord out from across the room. This can be very dangerous and potentially damaging to both the outlet and cord.
When you’re not using specific outlets, it’s advisable that you employ cover plates or childproof caps. If you have young children at home, this is probably the most important step you can take.
4. Use Correct and Proper Light Bulbs
If you take a trip to Home Depot or another home goods store, you can get overwhelmed by the number of light bulbs on sale. But don’t just grab any bulb. It’s important to the safety of you and your family that you pick bulbs with the proper size and wattage.
Higher wattage bulbs can cause overheating in lamps and lights and can start a fire. Even when you have the right bulbs, you need to ensure they’re screwed in all the way. Loose bulbs can mean bad news.
Always remember to switch off bulbs before removing or replacing. The last thing you want to do is remove a bulb that currently has electricity running through it.
5. Employ Ground-Fault Interrupters
Some areas of your home may be more at risk for electrical accidents than others. Areas with a lot of water, like bathrooms or near a pool, pose a higher risk of electrocution than others. Unfished rooms with exposed wiring pose the same sort of risk.
In these places, consider installing ground-fault interrupting outlets. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are fast acting circuit breakers that can shut off electric power in 1/40th of a second if a ground-fault occurs.
GFCIs work quickly enough to help prevent electrical accidents and shut off electricity the moment a problem occurs. It can’t stop you from getting a little shock in the case of an accident, but it can shut off electricity quickly enough that such a shock isn’t seriously damaging.
You can reach out to an experienced electronic professional to have them installed. Having them in the more at-risk areas of your home can be a huge safety plus.
Following Electrical Safety Rules
Modern technology has made our lives easier in many ways. But with great conveniences come the need for proper precaution and care. Following the electrical safety rules above can ensure that the risk of electrical fire or injury in your home is as low as possible.
Have questions about how to better protect your home? Feel free to contact us anytime.