One of the most important steps you can take to keep your home safe is to make sure all the electrical systems and appliances operate correctly. Although electricity makes your life easier and more comfortable, it can also become a safety hazard if it is not installed properly or functioning as it should. According to FEMA, fires caused by electricity can lead to deaths, injuries and significant property damage. You can avoid electrical fires by making sure your electrical systems, wiring and appliances are in tiptop shape. Here are several safety tips that you can take to prevent electrical disasters in your home.
Don’t Hesitate to Call the Professionals for Help
In many instances, problems associated with electricity require the help of electrical experts. Therefore, find a company that employs licensed technicians who are trained in residential electrical services. Licensed and experienced electricians keep abreast of code requirements and regulations in your state and will ensure sure your electrical systems operate safely. Here are just a few examples of how a professional electrician can keep your home safe and sound.
- Do not attempt to fix electrical problems yourself, since you can harm yourself or others by making mistakes. For example, any electrical outlet close to water should be protected by a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plug. GFCI plugs are designed to guard against electrical shocks by disconnecting power whenever electric appliances get wet. If they are not installed correctly in areas such as your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and garage, they will not work.
- If you need more electrical outlets, new systems, or need other types of electrical modifications, have them installed or modified by professionals. It’s worth every penny to have electrical work done correctly and to code.
- If you suspect you may need professional help, call an electrical expert as soon as possible. If you wait, you might be putting yourself and your family at risk for an electrical fire. Indications that trouble is brewing include blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers, hot switches, and electrical shocks or sparks.
What You Can Do At Home
While major repairs and wiring jobs should be left to the experts, there are some things you can do throughout the home to help keep your family safe from a variety of electrical safety concerns.
- Routinely test on/off switches and outlets to make sure they are not hot when touched. Wiring can break down over time, and even cause electrical fires if you are not too careful. If you suspect a problem, be proactive and call an expert in to inspect it.
- Inspect all switches and outlets throughout your home to make sure they are adequately covered and protected. If you can see any wiring, replace them right away or call a professional for help.
- Make sure electrical appliances with cords are not damaged in any way. Replace appliances with frayed, damaged cords that seem hot when touched or that smoke and spark when being used.
- Never overload extension cords or wall sockets with too many appliances. And, plug appliances directly into wall outlets whenever possible.
- Always make sure to use bulbs that have the correct wattage for your light fixtures and lamps. Using a higher wattage bulb than is recommended can cause the item to overheat and possibly catch fire. In addition, keep halogen light bulbs a safe distance from drapes, carpets, couches and other flammable materials, since they are hotter than other types of bulbs and can be dangerous if not properly located.
- Keep fire extinguishers handy in kitchens, garages and laundry rooms. Use them, instead of water, to put out any electrical fires in the home.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Electrical Safety Foundation, household electrical appliances and wiring result in over 41,000 fires each year. Don’t let you home become another statistic and keep your family safe with help from Tudi’s residential electric repair services. Call Tudi today to schedule your free home electrical estimate, and discover how we can help keep your family safe from the most common household electrical hazards.