Safe electrical practices at home are essential for safety and to reduce electrical hazards for the entire family. Electrical safety tips can prevent electrical hazards, save energy, and ensure electrical safety in homes.
Electrical safety tips for home can be divided into two categories: electrical safety tips for children and electrical safety tips for adults.
The electrical safety tips for children are specifically designed to keep kids safe from electrical hazards at home. In this blog, we’ll talk about electrical safety tips for adults, general safety tips that everyone can follow to stay safe.
Ensure Electrical Outlets are Secure
- Always make sure unused wall outlets have safety coverings.
- Make sure extension cords are correctly rated and Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) approved.
- Avoid overloading outlets by ensuring the wattage of the device does not exceed the wattage of the wiring supply.
- Don’t run cords under rugs, carpets, doors or windows to prevent tripping hazards.
- Keep cord tips clean and free of debris to avoid electrical shock.
- Never use a cord or plug that has been involved in a safety hazard.
Use Extension Cords with Caution
- Make sure to inspect extension cords for cracks, damaged insulation and missing hardware before each use.
- Avoid using extension cords with damaged or broken insulation or exposed wiring.
- When using extension cords, make sure the cord is unplugged from the wall outlet before touching the plug or cord. This prevents electric shock.
- Avoid running extension cords through walls, over beams, around corners or through doorways. This reduces the risk of damage to the cord and electrical equipment.
- Invest in surge protected power strips and inspect them regularly for damage or signs of overloading. This helps prevent electrical fires and electrical shocks.
- Never modify or remove the grounding pin from a three-pronged cord to fit a two-prown outlet. This prevents electrical injury and potential electrical shock.
Know the Difference Between Surge Protectors and Power Strips
- Power strips and surge protectors are electrical devices used to plug multiple electrical devices into a single outlet.
- Power strips are for indoor use only, whereas surge protectors are for indoor and outdoor use.
- A power strip has a plug and several electrical outlets, each of which can be used to plug in a different electrical device. A cord leads from the plug to the electrical outlet of the power strip.
- A surge protector is made of metal or plastic and has three pronged plugs with a grounding element to make it safe to use. It protects electronic devices from electrical surges by preventing excess electrical current from entering the device.
- Power strips can help save energy by turning electrical devices such as lights and televisions off when not in use. This helps to reduce electricity usage. However, power strips cannot provide safety against electric shock because they don’t have a cord or circuit breaker like surge protectors do.
- Power strips can also be known as extension cords or extension cords. They are convenient because they allow you to connect multiple electrical devices to one outlet, but they should be used appropriately to avoid potential safety hazards or damage to the electrical devices attached to it.
- When choosing between power strips and surge protectors, it’s important to consider your needs and safety concerns before making a selection
Check for Damaged Wires and Cords
Do not use damaged electrical cords or extension cords. They can cause electrical shocks and safety hazards and should be discarded in a safe manner.
Use only extension cords approved by the extension cord safety standards organization (such as UL, C-UL, or VDE). Ensure the cord is in good electrical condition and has no exposed worn parts or fraying.
Also, make sure the cord is the correct length to safely accommodate the electrical equipment connected to it.
When plugging electrical equipment into extension cords, make sure the cord fits securely into the outlet without being bent or stressed beyond its capacity.
Do not kink or twist extension cords and never use an extension cord as a substitute for adequate electric circuit protection. In addition to safety, look for features such as safety tips, polarized plugs, and circuit breaker protection.
Lastly, avoid using power strips with multiple outlets that are designed for single-outlet devices because these can create safety issues when multiple outlets are used at once.
Besides electrical safety practices at home, consider electrical safety practices at work too.
Don’t Overload Outlets and Circuits
- Avoid plugging more than one high-wattage device into an outlet at a time and make sure the maximum wattage that your wiring supply can handle is not exceeded.
- Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to cut off power when inequality between incoming and outgoing current is detected, and protect from electrical shock and electrocution.
- GFCIs should be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and other locations near water or damp areas.
- Periodic checks are essential to ensure that GFCI receptacles are working well. Make sure that your electrical cord is properly insulated and secured to avoid accidental cord entanglement. Also, avoid using extension cords with sharp objects or cords near water.
Finally, use electrical safety equipment such as safety goggles, rubber boots, and safety gloves when working with electrical wiring or equipment.
Avoid Electrical Hazards in Wet Areas
Avoid electrical hazards in wet areas by following safety tips to avoid electrical shock. When handling outlets, always use caution when plugging in your electrical cord.
If water is splashed on your hands, immediately remove the plug and clean your hands with warm water.
Additionally, don’t handle electrical cords or plugs with wet hands or equipment that has been exposed to water.
Avoid plugging electrical devices into wet extension cords as this can increase the likelihood of electrical shock.
Also, be careful not to let cords dangle over the edge of a pool or bathtub as this could result in electrocution.
Lastly, keep unused and damaged extension cords tidy and secure to prevent damage.
If you do come into contact with water while using an electrical appliance, immediately unplug it and wipe it dry with a towel. After doing so, check for signs of fire or electrical shock and call 911 if necessary.
Keep Electrical Appliances Away from Children
When house electrical appliances are not in use, it is important to ensure that they are unplugged and kept away from children.
This safety measure prevents accidents such as electrical shocks and minor electrical burns, which can result in serious injuries or even death.
Instead of using electrical cord extensions, use appliance cord safety tips to keep extension cords safe.
These tips include making sure the cord is out of the way and away from children and pets, using a cord safety strap, and never placing a cord across a doorway or walkway.
Keep appliance cords away from water sources like fountains and streams, and avoid running them under carpets, rugs, doors or windows.
Another safety tip when using electrical appliances is to regularly check and clean exhaust fans to prevent overheating of electronic equipment. Also, be aware of the warning signs of electrical shock and call for help if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some tips for safe electrical practices at home?
Some tips for safe electrical practices at home include the following:
– Avoid overloading outlets and using too many adapters and extension cords.
– Unplug appliances and devices when not in use.
– Make sure your home is up to date with regular electrical maintenance.
– Install surge protectors to protect important electronics.
– Don’t use appliances or cords that are damaged.
What are some common dangers associated with electrical wiring?
There are a few dangers associated with electrical wiring that you should be aware of.
1. Faulty or damaged wiring can cause electrical fires. The National Fire Protection Association notes that electrical fires may occur due to faulty wiring, as well as when cords and extension cords are not properly secured or when electrical equipment is used improperly.
2. Water near electrical items can pose an electrical threat. If water gets near power cords, extension cords, or any other electrical equipment, it can create a hazard. This is because electrical equipment may start sparking and producing dangerous heat.
3. Electrical shocks, electrical burns, and electrocution can occur due to improper use of electrical equipment. For example, if you’re using an appliance that’s electric with wet hands, the electrical shock from the appliance could cause electrical burns on your skin.
And if you’re using an electric appliance in wet environments, electrocution may result.
How can I reduce the risk of electric shock in my home?
To reduce the risk of electric shock in your home, take these safety precautions:
– Exercise caution to prevent electrical fires. Don’t overload outlets and use extension cords only as a last resort.
– Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to Trip if There is an Imminent Shock hazard.
– Childproof Your Outlets with Tamper Resistant Receptacles.
– Take steps to help prevent electrical fires. For example, keep electrical appliances out of reach of children, and make sure cords are properly placed and secured.
What should I do if I experience an electrical issue in my home?
In the event of an electrical issue in your home, follow these safety tips to protect yourself and your loved ones:
1. Ensure all power is switched off and unplugged before inspecting or replacing electrical appliances.
2. Check for wall plates/faceplates on receptacle outlets and switches. If there are any missing or damaged plates, replace them as soon as possible.
3. Immediately call a certified electrician if you experience frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, a tingling feeling when you touch an appliance, discolored or warm wall outlets, a burning or rubbery smell, flickering or dimming lights or sparks from an outlet.
4. If your home has been flooded, there is a high chance the electrics could be damaged – exercise caution to prevent electrical fires.
Electrical safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s your responsibility to ensure electrical safety at home and to educate others on electrical safety. Ensure electrical safety by following the tips mentioned above.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to electrical safety, share your experience with the hashtag ‘#ElectricalSafety’ on social media and help others stay safe.