“Did you know the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 31,000 home electrical fires occur every year, and with over 180 cases do involve electrocution or electricity-related incidents that could have been avoided if electrical safety was given proper attention”
In addition, “the National Fire Protection Association notes that faulty or damaged wiring and related electrical equipment cause 69 percent of electrical fires, followed by lamps, light fixtures, cords, plugs, transformers, and other power supplies”
Therefore, home electrical safety is too important to be ignored.
At electelectglobe, we care about your safety, yes, we mean “you” who is our regular visitor and reader so we decided to remind or inform you of the following electrical safety tips that can protect you, your home, and your family.
The 10 most important Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home
Many electrical fires can be avoided by following some simple electricity safety tips. Below are 10 household electricity safety measures every homeowner should know and follow. Don’t forget to always ask a professional if you are not sure about the safety of an electrical outlet, home appliances or if you don’t understand electrical safety.
- Use the correct wattage of load in all your fixtures and socket outlet.
Using the correct bulbs can prevent electrical problems, so check all the lamp fixtures and socket-outlet to ensure you are using the correct wattage of load at each point. If a lamp fixture has no wattage labeled on it, use 60-watt bulbs or less. For unlisted ceiling fixtures, choose 25-watt bulbs.
Did you know “LED bulbs consume less power and reduce the risk of fixtures overheating” Get to know more about LED light benefits? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEDs BULB
- Check for overloaded outlets to protect your home.
Overloading an electrical outlet is also another common cause of electrical problems. Ensure to check all the power outlets and see that they are cool even by touch, use protective faceplates and let it be in proper working order. According to ESFI, below recommendation is given as safety tips for the electrical outlet:
- Do not use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for any heavy-duty home appliances.
- Only one heat-producing appliance should be plugged into an outlet at a time.
- Only qualified electricians should check hot outlets.
Always remember that power strips only increases points of outlets—they do not change the amount of power the outlet was designed to receive or deliver.
Smart plugs can be installed to monitor load in an outlet and can even trip off the supply to appliances plug on it in case an outlet begins to overheat.
- Damaged electrical cords should be replaced or repair to keep the home safe.
Damaged power cord, which is not replaced or repaired, is a serious residential electrical safety risk, and they are can cause both fire and electrocution at home. All power and extension cords should be inspected regularly for signs of fraying and cracking, and they should then be repaired or replaced urgently if need be. Power cords should not be stapled into hidden places or run under rugs and furniture. Cords under rugs can cause a tripping hazard and can overheat, while furniture can crush cord insulation and thus damage wires.
The use of extension cords regularly may imply that you don’t have sufficient outlets to fit your needs. Contact a qualified electrician who understands electrical safety rules to install additional outlets in rooms where you often use extension cords.
If more outlets can’t be provided where you need power supply and extension cord is the only option you have to provide power where it is needed. When buying an electrical power cord, consider the maximum electrical load it will carry. A cord with 16 AWG can handle up to 1,375 watts load. Use a 14 or 12 AWG cord for a heavier load.
Note: AWG stands for “American wire gauge.” The lower the number of AWG, the thicker the cord.
- Used and unused cords should be tidy and secure to prevent damage.
Electrical safety rules don’t just apply to power cords when they’re in operation—cords also need to be kept safely to prevent damage. Stored cords should be far off from children and pets (who may chew on or use cords for play). Try to avoid wrapping cords too tight around objects; this can overstretch the cord thus causing overheating. Never rest a cord on a hot surface in order to prevent the insulation of the cords and wire from damage.
- All unused appliances should be unplugged to reduce potential risks.
It is observed that one of the simplest electrical safety tips is also one of the easiest to forget: when an electrical appliance is not in use, unplug it from the power outlet. Not only does this save you power by reducing any phantom drain, that is the amount of energy the device consumes even when not in use, but unplugging unused appliances also safe them from overheating or power surges.
Unplugging unused appliances is often difficult to remember, but thanks to the new generation of smart plugs which offers a solution to that problem, enabling you to set power schedules for each outlet.
Check also: ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR APPLIANCE USE AT HOME
- Electrical devices and outlets should be kept far away from water to prevent shock.
Electricity and water don’t mix well. Since these two do not go together, electrical equipment should be kept dry and away from water to prevents damage to the appliances and to protect against personal injury and electrocution. When operating an electrical appliance, it’s important to use dry hands. Electrical equipment should be kept away from plant pots, aquariums, sinks, showers and bathtubs to lowers the risk of water and electricity coming into contact.
- Appliances should be given proper space for air circulation to avoid overheating.
When there is no proper air circulation, electrical equipment can become overheated and short out, and can even result to fire hazard. Avoid operating electrical equipment in an enclosed cabinet. For safety purposes, it’s also crucial to store flammable material or liquid away from all appliances and electronics. Pay especially close attention to electric dryer and cooker as this needs to be position at least a foot from the wall to function safely.
- All exhaust fans should be clean to prevent fire hazards.
Some of the electrical appliances have exhaust fans, which can accumulate dirty or clogged with debris and make the appliance work harder. This can reduce the lifespan of the appliance and can pose a risk of fire hazard to the home due to overheating or even cause an accumulation of dangerous gases that can result in an electrical fire hazard. To prevent such hazards from occurring regularly cleaning of exhaust fans of an appliance is recommended.
- Follow the instructions manual of an appliance for improved electrical safety.
When a new home appliance is purchased, priority should be given to the electrical safety tips in the user manual. Therefore, “Read the instructions” and understand them before operating the appliance. Understanding how to safely use an electrical appliance improves both the performance of your device and your personal safety. If a slight electrical shock is experienced while trying to operate any home appliances, stop using it immediately until a qualified electrician comes to solve the problem.
- Heaters and water heaters should be used with care to prevent potential accidents.
Combustible materials should be stored far away from portable heaters and built-in furnaces. Portable heaters should not be used close to drapes, and to avoid tipping, they should only be positioned on a stable surface.