Electricity is absolutely vital to our lives today. We use it for cooking, heating our homes, and powering our electronics. However, it is important that we handle it with caution because as fascinating as electricity is, it has its dangers. A majority of us work with electricity indirectly and learning what hazards to look for is one of the best ways to prevent any accidents from happening in your home.
1. Incorrect Wattage Light Bulbs
Using a light bulb with a higher wattage than the lamp can safely accommodate may overload the lamp’s wiring, which can cause a fire. Take steps to help avoid this hazard by using a light bulb with wattage that’s less than or equal to the maximum wattage printed on the lamp’s socket. If you need a stronger light, purchase a lamp that uses a higher wattage bulb.
2. Covered Cords and Wires
Electric wires and cords radiate heat, which must dissipate safely. This is why it is important to avoid covering wires under rugs or furniture, as they could overheat and start an electric fire.
3. Improper Use of Extension Cords
To prevent tripping or an accident it is advisable to place extension cords in a fixed place. Using too many appliances on a single cord box can be very dangerous. Refrain from using an appliance which is working with the aid of an extension cord box.
4. Outdated Wiring System
The National Fire Prevention Association reports that faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires. Your home has to have new wiring once in every 30 years and be inspected annually. If you don’t upgrade the wiring of your home, you’re left to accidents like electric shocks and electrical fires caused by loose or improper connections, frayed appliances, cracked wire insulation caused by heat, and overheated wires or cords. Corroded, worn or torn electric wires can lead to electric accidents. Inspect all your wiring and cords regularly to ensure that they are in good condition. Have a certified electrician from Frontline Electrical Services in Benicia, California, check your home’s wiring every few years so you know if any need to be repaired or replaced.
“Your home has to have new wiring once in every 30 years and be inspected annually.”
5. Operating Electric Appliances with Wet Hands
Reaching out and flipping a switch or the outlet with wet hands can lead to a fatal electrocution. Make sure your hands aren’t wet or sweaty while operating electrical outlets because electricity will be more easily conducted and transferred to your body – and that’s a no-no!
6. Overloaded Power Strips and Outlets
Power strips and outlets are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. Plugging several high voltage devices into a power strip can overload the strip or the outlet, and possibly cause an electrical fire. Another dangerous practice is plugging adapters into the power strip to increase the number of devices it can accommodate. Plugging two or more power strips together can also result in overload. If you use power strips in your home, choose models that include a circuit breaker. If the power strip becomes too hot or overloaded, the breaker will trip, minimizing the risk of a fire. Only use power strips with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal and periodically check the power strip for degradation or damage.
“If you use power strips in your home, choose models that include a circuit breaker.”
7. Vicinity of Water to Outlets
Make sure that in places like electrical outlets in bathrooms, washing area or laundry, and swimming pools are a fair distance from the water. All sockets close to water need to be GFCI type to prevent electric dangers and shock. Installing protected outlets is an effective way to minimize the risk of electric shock or electrocution. GFCIs will immediately cut off power if it detects someone receives a shock, helping prevent serious injury. If a plugged-in appliance gets wet, don’t unplug it. Go to the electrical panel box in your home and turn off the power source to the outlet the appliance is plugged into. Then you can unplug the appliance and have a qualified repair person evaluate its safety. Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use to reduce risks of shock.
“All sockets close to water need to be GFCI type to prevent electric dangers and shock.”
8. Child Safety
Young children are naturally curious. Young kids and babies are always under a threat of fatal electrical hazard because they aren’t always aware of the consequences of their actions. Keep an eye on your kids – the best solution for this issue is to make your home baby proof. Electrical outlets at knee height must be protected with plastic closures that fit snugly and cannot be removed easily.
9. Overheating of Wires
Most wires today are heavily coated. This often leads to overheating of the wires, when in extreme use and ultimately leads to a fatal electrical accident. Make sure the wires and electrical equipment had enough space around them to receive air and ventilation to prevent overheating. There are many precautions that are to be taken with respect to electricity after all you always need to be mindful that electricity being something derived from nature cannot be tamed and controlled. It can only be managed with precautions. Being aware of these electrical hazards is the first step toward safety.
“Make sure the wires and electrical equipment had enough space around them to receive air and ventilation to prevent overheating.”
10. Pouring Water on Electrical Fire
Adding water to electric fires only add as a lubricant to the wild fire. You will be more prone to electrocution from the impact of the water and the fire. It is advisable to have a fire extinguisher with you at home. In the absence of it, turn off the main power of your home and call the fire department.
The average home abounds in electrical hazards that could be easily corrected and which pose serious threats to safety. Handled with caution and respect, electricity is a wonderful and essential part of life in our homes. It’s vital that you protect your family by taking simple precautions and having Frontline Electrical Services in Benicia, California inspect your home’s electrical environment.
Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?
At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. If you are in the Benicia or Fairfield, California area, contact us today at at (800) 945-0268 (here is a map to us) to have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult where our techs analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be! Remember, if it’s electrical, we do it!