10 Simple Home Electrical Safety Tips you Should Know
Electricity, as a source of power, has developed into a core necessity in the current age upon which the entire structure of contemporary civilization depends.
But we must recognize that as much practical as it is, it brings in several electrical hazards and possibilities of accidents which should not be overlooked.
This continuous flow of electrons is powerful enough to burn through any living tissue if not handled with care.
Let us look at a list of electrical safety tips to follow for electrical safety at home.
1. Don’t mix electricity with water. Never handle electrical outlets when soaked or plug appliances with wet hands or while standing on a wet floor.
2. Make certain that children know of the risks of exposed electrical cables. In the event of storms and power failures, it’s vital they know to stay away from downed electrical lines and trees that might have electrical wiring tangled in their branches.
3. A good practice is to be vigilant in replacing broken or frayed extension cords in a timely manner.
4. Don’t run cables wires or extension cords under a rug, furniture or any flammable equipment to avoid any mishap related to electric sparks which might start a fire.
5. Portable heaters and air conditioners require a lot of energy to operate. It’s better to plug them directly into an outlet.
6. Use extension cords sparingly and always use a UL certified, good quality one.
7. Electrical equipment and appliances cords regularly comes with third prongs. That prong is a fundamental safety element to ground the current. Make sure that it is unbroken and not torn when you are operating the device.
8. It’s better to distribute the load for electrical appliances over multiple electrical outlets. Doing this we decrease the risk of overloading circuits.
9. Make sure you have GFCI installed and that they are working properly
Lots of older houses had been built prior to advanced electrical codes being installed. An important safety concern is in places around sinks—in kitchen and bathroom areas.
What is a GFCI Outlet?
A GFCI is a protection device created to cut off the power when inequality between incoming and outgoing current is detected.
The GFCI outlet protects us from the risks of electrical shock and electrocution by cutting off the electrical power immediately if a ground fault is detected.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are required by both the Canadian Electrical Code and the NEC in all locations near water or damp within the home – bathrooms, kitchen, laundry areas, etc.
Periodic checks are essential to ensure that the GFCI receptacle is working well at all times. If you have a GFCI receptacle that is tripping frequently, it requires further inspection by a certified residential electrician.
Self-Testing Your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI): How to Test a GFCI Outlet
It is suggested that GFCI outlets should be tested on a monthly basis and changed every 10 years. You can follow these basic steps to verify if the GFCI is functioning well:
The cover of the GFCI receptacle has two small buttons that are marked test and reset. Simply push the test button and this should produce a snap sound that shows that the receptacle has tripped.
Once the power is off, you can check the performance of the GFCI device unit with a voltage meter or by plugging a device, like a lamp or radio.
Once you have confirmed that the CFGI receptacle is working properly, push the reset button to restore the power to the receptacle.
If your GFCI is not working properly, call a professional electrician. It is important to call a certified residential electrician to make sure that your electric system complies with applicable electrical codes so your home remains guarded against electrical hazards.
Benefits of Installing GFCI Outlet
Besides the peace-of-mind that you and your family are guarded against electrical electrocutions, installing GFCI receptacles will help you:
Limit the Danger of Electrocution
Avert Fatal Electrical Fires
Avoid Damage to Appliances
Install GFCI outlets in wet or damp locations for safety reasons. Always work with licensed residential electricians. You cannot put a price on the safety of your family and GFCI outlets will bring you peace of mind.
10. Make sure all your lightbulbs are the right wattage. Check all of the bulbs to verify that the wattage is not higher than recommended. Lightbulbs that are “too hot” could spark a fire.
Your residential electrician can help you by inspecting your home to make sure everything is working well, and safety measures are in place.