You use electricity every day in your home, but are you using it safely? It is estimated that 51,000 home electrical fires happen annually due to inappropriate electricity use. Fortunately, many of these fires are preventable. Follow these simple electrical safety tips to prevent fires and protect your home and your family.
Electrical Safety for Your Home
Don’t Overload Outlets
Overloading electrical outlets is a common cause of electrical issues. Don’t plug multiple devices into a single outlet. Major appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines should not be plugged into an adapter or extension cord. Instead, plug them directly into the wall.
Electrical Safety Tips: Unplug Home Appliances
Unplugging appliances that aren’t in use is one of the simplest electrical safety tips, but it’s easy to forget. If you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it. Not only will you save energy, but you’ll also protect your devices from power surges, overheating, and other electrical issues.
Use the Correct Wattage Light Bulbs
Prevent electrical issues by using bulbs with the right wattage for your fixture. Check lamps for labels that indicate the correct wattage. If you use traditional incandescent bulbs, consider switching to LED bulbs. They use less energy and will lower your electricity costs.
Replace Damaged Extension Cords to Improve Electrical Safety in the Home
Damaged extension cords are a serious safety risk because they can cause fires and electrocution. Check extension cords regularly for signs of problems and replace damaged cords. Choose extension cords that have surge protectors to protect your devices from power surges.
Don’t Run Cords Under Carpets and Rugs
Extension cords should not be placed beneath carpets and rugs because they pose a tripping hazard and can overheat and cause a fire. Don’t place cords next to furniture because furniture movement can ruin cord insulation and damage wires.
Extension cords in constant use throughout your home indicate that you have insufficient outlets for your needs. Hire an electrician to install additional outlets in your living spaces to minimize your use of extension cords.
Keep Electrical Appliances Away from Water
Water should not come into contact with electricity because this can lead to electrical fires, electrocution, and damage to appliances. Practice electrical safety by keeping all appliances away from water. When using devices, make sure your hands are dry and never operate appliances or electronics while standing in water.
Make Sure Home Appliances Have Good Circulation
Many electrical appliances generate a lot of heat. As a result, they need good air circulation to prevent them from overheating and becoming a fire hazard. Appliances generally require several inches of clearance for good airflow. Check your appliance manuals for the manufacturer’s recommendation about spacing and installation.
Follow Appliance Instructions
Read the manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to operate appliances safely. You’ll reduce the risk of fire and learn how to use appliances appropriately to prolong their lifespan.
Fire Safety in the Home: Hire a Professional
Contact an electrician immediately if you notice issues with your electricity, like constantly flickering lights or burning odors from an outlet. Electrical problems can worsen if left unresolved and may become more dangerous.
Electricity can prove hazardous if it isn’t used appropriately. Follow these safety tips when using electricity to prevent fires and serious injuries in your home.