House fires are estimated to cause a total of 6 to 8 billion dollars in Damage in American homes every year. These are all damages which can be avoided by simply minding fire safety in the home. One of the major causes of these fires is electrical faults. These could be in the form of faulty electrical outlets, faulty appliances, short-circuiting and a myriad of other problems. Fortunately, there are a lot of things which a homeowner can do to make sure that their home stays secure and does not suffer the consequences of home fires. Here are the three crucial electrical outlet safety tips that everyone needs to know.
Proper handling of electrical cords
Faulty electrical cords lead to fires a lot of the times. If you want to avoid the fires, there are a number of things that you can do. First, you need to make sure that the moment an electrical cord gets damaged, it is replaced immediately. Damaged cords lead to electrical shock which can be fatal, and they also cause electrical fires. Also, avoid running damaged electrical cords in areas of the house which have high traffic because this will accelerate the rate at which they wear and tear. If you have pets and little children, always keep extensions and cords out of sight because their curiosity could mean total disaster. Children and pets are also fond of chewing on things, and you can only imagine the disaster which could happen if they were to start chewing on a cord which is still connected to the outlet, or one whose insulation was damaged.
Proper use of electrical outlets
Electrical outlets are the second cause of fires in the home. When handling them, you need to make sure that you never overload them. Take time and look at the maximum load that all the outlets in your home can take and then ensure that you never plug more than that. Another problem which occurs mostly with the electrical outlets is that they do get lose and when they aren’t properly earthed, this could mean leaking current which will not only damage your appliances but also cause sparking and possible electrical fires. It is therefore important to make sure that outlets which are starting to lose are repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Also, try and have circuit breakers or fuses installed in the home because this will make it easy to handle power surges and dips. If you have children and little pets, invest in tamper-resistant outlets because they will be safer for the house. There are also outlet coverings which are tough to remove and act as baby proofing if you have toddlers.
Electrical safety in areas with water
Areas which have water in the home are the ones that need a lot of electrical safety measures because electricity and water do not really mix well and if an accident happened, electrocution risk is doubled. In areas such as the kitchen and the bathroom, you have to ensure that GFCI systems have been installed. These are systems which ensure that all the extra current is earthed in case an electrical fault occurs and that if there was a person nearby, they do not get electrocuted. Needless to say, you should never throw fire at an electrical fire in the home.
Those are some of the most important electrical safety tips which you need to have for your home. Other things which you can do to ensure that your electrical outlets serve you well at all times is to never allow water to come in contact with them. Then, always keep sharp and metallic objects out of the outlets because they can cause serious fire damage and even electrocution. You should also keep checking the outlets for signs of wear and tear. Some of the most common telltale signs that the electrical outlets are failing include blackening as a result of soot from a possible spark when current stops flowing through the socket and a number of other problems. Only contact a qualified electrician when you have problems with your electrical outlet and have them replace the pieces because electricity really isn’t a safe DIY project.