One of the leading causes of house fires is electrical accidents that could have been prevented using electrical safety standards. Seemingly small mistakes can be dangerous, like plugging two extension cords together or plugging an appliance into a power strip. Here are some of the best ways to keep your home up to date on electrical safety.
Electrical Safety: Never Overload Outlets
Electrical outlets were not designed to supply unlimited devices simultaneously, and power adapters, extension cords, and power strips increase demand on a circuit. Most outlets support a maximum of eight devices, possibly less depending on the power usage. Any heat-producing devices, like coffee makers, hair dryers, or crockpots, should be plugged directly into the outlet. All major appliances must have a dedicated outlet.
Dispose of Frayed Extension Cords
Extension cords must only be plugged in when actively being used. Inspect your extension cords before use. If they show any signs of fraying or damage, dispose of them. Replacing or upgrading old or worn cords will reduce the chance of an electrical fire.
Keep Water Out for Electrical Safety
Most people know that moisture and electricity don’t go together. However, there are still homes without GFCI outlets in the bathroom and kitchen. GFCI outlets shut off any time a short is detected and should be used in the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. Always place appliances safely from faucets, sinks, and other water sources.
Schedule an Inspection
Some issues require the help of an electrician. If you have any of the problems listed below, do not put off repairs:
- Lights that flicker or dim
- Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers
- Burning smells coming from appliances or outlets
- Outlets that are warm to the touch have scorch marks or discoloration
- Shocks when touching or plugging in electrical appliances
- Visible sparks coming from an outlet
Know How to React to an Electrical Fire
Never use water to extinguish electrical fires. Instead, have at least one fire extinguisher in rooms of the house where fires are common, like the kitchen and the basement. A Class C fire extinguisher is most effective against electrical fires.