Electrical Safety in Your Home

Electrical fires are one of the most widespread causes of damage to homes. Overloaded outlets, faulty wiring, inferior-quality electrical appliances are easy fire-starters in any modern house. Unfortunately, home security systems do not protect against all such hazards. By following a few of these simple rules and adopting them into your daily habits, you can save yourself much of the danger of having to deal with an electrical fire in your family’s home.

Lighting:

– Always use the right light bulbs.
– Always check and use the correct wattage.
– Screw the bulbs in securely, as loose bulbs can produce short circuits and/or sparks.
– Turn off and even unplug any light fixture before changing the bulb.

Appliances:

– Be certain that all electrical appliances in the house have the correct fuse.
– Check for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label on all appliances – as this product safety testing organization is well-trusted source.
– Unplug appliances that are rarely used, and keep the cords out of reach of water, children, and pets.
– Unplug small appliances such as coffeemakers, toasters, etc. after use and put them away instead of leaving them to clutter up the counter.
– Unplug all appliances before cleaning them.
– Unplug any appliance that gives even a tiny shock.
– Never put clothes or other flammable items on top of warm appliances.
– Keep all appliances far from sinks, bathtubs, etc.
– Make sure all nonessential appliances are turned off and/or unplugged before going to bed.

Cords and Wires:

– Do not run extension cords under the carpet, as you will never be able check to see that they are in good working condition. Heat under the carpet can also easily cause fire.
– Check for scorch marks on sockets and plugs.
– Use plastic plugs on all unused outlets or use cover plates.
– Never carry or unplug an object by its cord.
– Replace frayed or brittle cords immediately. Do not use the appliance until the cord has been replaced.
– Do not remove the third prong from a three-pronged plug.
– Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to protect yourself from shock.
– Extension cords are not meant to be permanent wiring solutions.
– Never let furniture sit on top of cables and wires.
– Never overload outlets with cords. Never jam a plug into an outlet when they do not fit securely.

Further Safety Tips:

– Do not touch a person who has been shocked, as the shock can be spread through contact.
– Use fire extinguishers or baking soda for electrical fires. Never use water.
– Do not attempt electrical repairs without the proper experience.
– Be familiar with the fuse boxes and circuit breakers of your house, and know how to operate them.
– Teach your children about electrical safety.

Electricity is an unquestionable and indispensable part of our lives. From alarm clocks to televisions, from computers to toasters, the modern house is full of potential fire-starters. Be well aware of the possible hazards in your home and keep your family safe from electrical fires.