It’s easy to take electricity for granted – until something goes wrong. The National Fire Protection Association says that U.S. home fires caused by electrical problems account for more than $1 billion in property damage yearly, and electrocutions kill about 400 people annually.
Most of these tragedies could be prevented with a bit of knowledge and simple precautions.
Here are five tips to help you avoid potential electrical hazards in your home:
1. Don't overload your outlets
Overloaded outlets and extension cords are common causes of house fires. Avoid this hazard by simultaneously plugging only one high-wattage appliance or device into each outlet. If you need multiple devices, connect them to different circuits or use a power strip with built-in circuit protection.
Make sure your home’s electrical system is up to date. Outdated wiring can lead to overloaded circuits and fire hazards. If you live in an older home, have a licensed electrician check your wiring and update it if necessary.
Be careful when using space heaters. Place them on level, hard surfaces away from flammable materials like bedding, furniture, curtains, and clothing. Never leave a space heater unattended and turn it off before bed or leaving the room.
Never overload your outlets or extension cords. This is a common cause of house fires. Only plug one high-wattage appliance or device into each outlet at a time. If you need multiple devices, connect them to different circuits or use a power strip with built-in circuit protection.
Don’t try to repair electrical appliances or fixtures yourself. This is a job for a licensed professional. Attempting repairs on your own can put you at risk of electrical shock or start a fire.
2. Inspect your electrical cords
If you can see cracks or fray on any of the wires in your electrical cords, discontinue use immediately and replace them. Damaged cords are not only a fire hazard but can also give you an electric shock if you touch them while plugged in. If you’re unsure whether a cord is safe to use, have it checked by a professional.
Another thing to watch out for is cords placed under furniture or rugs. Not only can this damage the cord – but it can also be a fire hazard. Ensure all your cords are in plain sight and not hidden away where they could get damaged or become a safety risk.
If you have any further questions about electrical safety, please don’t hesitate to contact your local electrician. They will be able to advise you on the best way to keep your home safe from electrical hazards.
3. Be careful when using extension cords
Extension cords are a convenient way to bring power to hard-to-reach places, but they must be used carefully. Don’t overload them, and make sure to unplug them when you’re finished using them. Also, don’t run extension cords under carpets or furniture, as this can damage the cord and create a fire hazard.
If you’re using extension cords, be sure not to overload them. Also, make sure to unplug them when you’re finished using them. Finally, don’t run extension cords under carpets or furniture, as this can damage the cord and create a fire hazard.
4. Don't DIY electrical repairs
Trying to repair electrical problems yourself is dangerous and should only be done by a licensed professional electrician. Even something seemingly innocuous as changing a lightbulb, can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re experiencing electrical problems in your home, it’s essential to call a licensed professional electrician to come and take a look. Attempting to repair electrical issues yourself is dangerous and can lead to severe injury or even death. Even something seemingly innocuous as changing a lightbulb, can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
So please, for your safety and the safety of your home, call a professional electrician whenever you’re experiencing electrical problems. It’s not worth risking your life or property attempting to fix something you’re not qualified to handle.
5. Have your home's electrical system inspected regularly
Having a professional inspect your home’s electrical system every few years is a good idea, or sooner if you notice any warning signs, such as flickering lights, sparks from outlets, or a burning smell. This is especially important in older homes, which may have outdated wiring that isn’t up to current safety standards.
If you’re planning any major home renovations, having an electrician come in and check things over before you start any work is also a good idea. They can help you plan for any additional electrical needs your project might entail and ensure that your existing wiring is up to handling any increased demand.
In the event of an electrical emergency, always call a professional first. Trying to handle things yourself could be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Leave it to the experts to keep you and your family safe.
Following these simple tips can help keep your home safe from electrical hazards. Southern Coast Services is a licensed professional electrical contractor servicing the Colorado area. We’re here to help keep your home safe and ensure that your electrical system is up to code. Contact us today to schedule an inspection.