Electricity is an essential part of our lives, and using it safely is of vital importance. Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. are injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical accidents and electrical fires in their homes. Preventing these injuries and fires can easily be prevented by understanding basic electrical safety practices.
Here are seven tips for electrical safety at home.
Get to Know Your Electrical Panel
Your electrical panel is essentially a big switch filled with smaller switches that delivers electricity to different parts of your home. It’ll have a main breaker, which controls the entire panel, and smaller breakers that service specific rooms or appliances. If a breaker trips, you can identify it by it being in an off or nearly off position. Turn it completely off and back on to reset it. However, if it trips again right after it’s reset, that means there is potentially an electrical problem. Continuing to reset it can cause a fire, so contact an electrician to look into the issue for you.
Ground Older Appliances
A grounded appliance means that the appliance is connected to an electrical neutral, so the circuit breaker will be tripped if there is an electrical fault. This will protect you from electrical shock and injury.
Use Extension Cords Properly
Limit your use of extension cords if possible. If you need to use one, make sure it is the appropriate size for use, don’t connect cords, and don’t run it across doorways or under carpets. Instead of extension cords, consider having a qualified electrician add circuits or outlets.
Never Use Water on an Electrical Fire
Water conducts electricity, so throwing it on a fire could make the fire bigger. Use a chemical fire extinguisher instead. Make sure you always have one on hand.
Check Outlets and Switches
Wobbly switches or outlets might not be installed properly or may have come loose from the stud. Faceplates that are warm to the touch could signify a number of electrical issues, as well. Always cut the power to outlets and switches before making any repairs or doing any investigation.
Practice Good Appliance Safety
Immediately unplug an appliance that isn’t working properly or is sparking. Unplug appliances before cleaning or repairing. Turning off an appliance does not cut the electricity to it, only unplugging it does. If you’re using high-wattage appliances, make sure only one is plugged into an outlet at a time.
Always Use A Qualified, Licensed Electrician
DIY electrical work can be dangerous, so it’s typically the best practice to contact a qualified and licensed electrician to make any repairs or changes to your home’s electricity. Contact the professionals at WireCraft Electric if you have any questions or concerns with your home’s electricity.