You use electricity to power your home, but do you understand electrical safety? According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 31,000 home electrical fires occur each year, and with over 180 cases involving electrocution or electricity-related mishaps that could have been avoided, home electrical safety is far too crucial to overlook. Constellation is concerned about our customers’ safety, and by following these electrical safety precautions, you can protect your home and family.
What are the origins of electrical fires in homes?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 69% of electrical fires are caused by faulty or broken wiring and related electrical equipment, followed by lights, light fixtures, cords, plugs, transformers, and other power supplies.When inspecting your home for potential fire concerns, always check with an expert.
Ten Electrical Safety Recommendations for Your Home
Many electrical fires can be avoided by following a few basic electricity safety guidelines. The following are ten household electricity safety guidelines that every homeowner should be aware of and adhere to. If you have any doubts regarding the safety of an electrical outlet or device, always consult an expert.
To reduce potential risks, unplug all unused appliances
This is one of the simplest electrical safety advice, but it is also one of the most easily forgotten. Unplugging unwanted appliances not only saves you energy by lowering phantom drain (the amount of energy the gadget consumes even when not actively in use), but it also protects them from overheating or power surges.
It might be tough to remember to unplug unused gadgets, but a new breed of smart plugs provides a solution by allowing you to set power schedules for each outlet.
To secure your home, keep an eye out for overloaded outlets
Electrical issues are usually caused by overloading an electrical socket. Check that all outlets are cool to the touch, have protective faceplates, and are in good operating order. You can follow these electrical outlet safety precautions, according to ESFI:
- Only plug in one heat-producing appliance at a time.
- Qualified electricians should inspect hot outlets.
- Remember that power strips just add outlets; they do not modify the quantity of electricity received by the outlet.
- Smart plugs can monitor outlet power usage and even turn off appliances if an outlet starts to overheat.
To keep your home safe, replace or repair damaged electrical wires.
All power and extension cords should be examined for fraying and cracking regularly and repaired or replaced as needed. Power cords should not be fastened or run beneath rugs or furniture. Cords under rugs can cause tripping hazards and overheating, and furniture can crush cable insulation and harm wires.
If you frequently use extension cords, it’s possible that you don’t have enough outlets to meet your needs. Consider the electrical load it will handle when selecting a power cord. A 16 AWG load cord can handle up to 1,375 watts. Use a 14 or 12 AWG cord for higher weights.
AWG is an abbreviation for “American wire gauge.” The thinner the rope, the lower the number!
To avoid electric shock, keep electrical gadgets and outlets away from water.
Water and electricity do not get along. To follow electrical safety regulations, keep electrical equipment dry. This prevents appliance damage and can safeguard against bodily injury and electrocution.It is critical to have dry hands when working with electrical items. Keeping electrical equipment away from plant pots, aquariums, sinks, showers, and bathtubs reduces the possibility of water and electricity colliding.
Double-check that all of your fixtures and appliances are using the right wattage.
Using the right bulbs can help you avoid electrical difficulties, so make sure you’re using the correct wattage in all of your lamps, fixtures, and appliances. Choose 25-watt bulbs for unlabeled ceiling fittings.
For enhanced electrical safety, always observe appliance instructions.
“Read the instructions” should be at the top of the list of home electrical safety advice.Understanding how to operate appliances properly enhances both the device’s functionality and your safety. If you experience even a little electrical shock while using an appliance, stop using it until a certified electrician inspects it for faults.
Keep used and unused wires neat and tight to avoid harm.
Electrical safety regulations do not just apply to power cables when they are in use; cords must also be stored carefully to avoid harm. Keep stored cords out of the reach of youngsters and pets (who may chew on or play with the cords). Avoid wrapping wires too tightly around objects; this might cause the cord to strain or overheat. To avoid damage to the cord’s insulation and wires, never place it on a hot surface.
Keep all of your exhaust fans clean to avoid fire concerns.
This can reduce the life of the appliance and pose a risk to the home due to overheating or even result in the development of toxic gases, which can lead to an electrical fire hazard. Cleaning exhaust fans regularly might help prevent such problems.
Allow enough space for air circulation around your equipment to avoid overheating.
Electrical equipment can overheat and short out if there is insufficient air circulation, posing an electrical fire hazard. Check that your appliances have adequate air circulation and avoid using electrical equipment in enclosed cabinets.Pay specific attention to your gas or electric dryer, since these must be placed at least a foot away from the wall to function securely.
To ensure electrical safety, always adhere to appliance instructions.
“Read the instructions” should be at the top of the list of home electrical safety advice. Understanding how to operate appliances properly enhances both the device’s functionality and your safety. If you experience even a little electrical shock while using an appliance, stop using it until a certified electrician inspects it for faults.
Be cautious with heaters and water heaters to avoid accidents.
Portable heaters and built-in furnaces should be kept at safe distances from inflammable materials. Keep flammables away from heating units for furnace safety. Portable heaters should never be used next to curtains, and they should always be put on a stable and firm surface to avoid tipping.
In a similar vein, do you know what temperature your water heater is set to? High-temperature settings consume more energy from your water heater and might cause burns and unintended scalding, especially in homes with small children.