Electrical safety at home is a must for any family. Not only will it protect you from possible fires and keep property damage to a minimum, if not eliminate it all together, but you will also be safeguarding your life and the lives of your family.
There has been a great interest in recent years in making energy-efficient homes, and energy efficient homes make for an electricity-safe home. If you aren’t sure where to start in making your home electricity-safe, or if you don’t have the budget for having the entire electrical system of your house safe, perhaps you might want to start out with having an electrician check one room at a time.
And if you have children at home, part of your plan in making your home more electricity-safe should include educating and teaching your children about the dangers of electricity, and the basics of electrical energy safety.
So how do you ensure an electricity-safe room?
- Never overload outlets by using multiple adapters or power strips
- When opening up an appliance or electrical device to clean or repair them, make sure that the appliance or electrical device is unplugged
- Never mix water and electricity; keep both at a safe distance from each other, and never handle electrical appliances or plug and unplug devices when your hands are wet
- In rooms where you use both electricity and water, such as the kitchen or bathroom, install a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI to prevent accidents
- Unused wall outlets should be covered with plastic safety caps to protect people, especially children and pets
- If there is a lightning storm, unplug all electrical devices and appliances, especially the television. Don’t use your hardline phone, but instead use a cell phone or cordless phone if you need to make calls
- Use electrical cords wisely: don’t use any with frayed or cracked wires, and never nail or staple them under carpeting. Try to minimize the use of extension cords as much as possible, because prolonged use may cause overheating and possible electrical fires
- Always keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home; never try to put out an electrical fire with water. You will only be exacerbating the problem because fire conducts electricity, so using water will only serve to increase the reach of the fire, and doing so will also increase the risk of possible electrical shock
- Never leave cables, wires, or plugged-in devices within reach of The natural curiosity of children will often drive them to explore their surroundings, so it is important to minimize the electrical risks in the areas within their reach
- Make sure that smoke detectors are installed within 10 feet of every bedroom in your home. If a fire breaks out at night, a smoke detector will raise the alarm before the smoke and fire reach your bedrooms, where you and your family may be sleeping soundly, unaware of the danger. A smoke alarm near your bedrooms will alert you and hopefully enable you to act quickly to stay safe
- Have GFCIs installed, and regularly tested, by an electrician. These are extremely useful safety devices that trip and cut off electricity whenever stray currents go where they are not supposed to, thus going a long way in protecting your family and your property
- Be observant. If you notice frayed or cracked wires, sparks from outlets, or flickering lights, these are signs that there are systemic electrical problems that need to be checked. If you are not an electrician yourself, don’t guess what the problem might be. Call in an electrician to check things out. If you are thinking about the cost of their services, remember that it would actually be cheaper to call them in now than later if there is a problem with the electrical system in your home. Acting quickly and immediately might even save you more money in the long run – whether it is to prevent house fires, potential injury, or having major repairs done to your electrical system that should have been caught and resolved earlier when the problem was not so difficult to resolve.