Electricity has made our lives easier and enjoyable in several ways. For instance, it enables us to preserve our food and keeps us warm during cold days. It also allows us to power our home appliances, including Television, iron, electric cooker, toasters, among others.
Despite the advantages of electricity to humankind, it could be a potential hazard if you don’t follow the required safety practices when handling it. On this note, we will be taking you through some electrical safety tips that you should know as a homeowner.
The National Fire Protection Association discovered that between 2007 and 2011, the United States fire department attended an average of 47 820 household fire cases. The cause of all these incidents was electrical malfunctions. Furthermore, the Electrical Safety Foundation also discovered that up to seven children sustain injuries caused by electrical shock.
Electricity is an essential part of our daily lives. It enables us to use our appliances and run home smoothly. To avoid electrical shock or fire incident, you need to be aware of its do’s and don’ts. Follow the safety tips below to protect you and your family from electrical hazards:
Don’t Use Extension Cords Permanently.
Extension cords are not designed for permanent use. You use them to get power to where they are needed; you can use it indoors or outdoors. To avoid electrical hazards, you should not use them for a long time or use them to extend power permanently to places where there is no outlet. Instead, you should consult your electrician to create more outlets to avoid overdependence or permanent use of extension cords.
Furthermore, if you use a 100 foot extension cord, pass the wire through a place where it won’t obstruct people’s free movement. For instance, you should not place them in the walkway to eliminate tripping hazards.
Never Overload the Outlets
Overloading the outlets is one of the major causes of an electrical fire in the house. Each outlet has a maximum amount of energy it can give out. In other words, there should be a limit to the number of appliances plugged into these outlets. When you plug too many energy-demanding devices into the outlet, it results in overloading and can lead to an electrical fire.
Furthermore, you should avoid using a multi-outlet converter as much as possible because it allows several devices to be plugged into a single outlet, leading to overloading. High-wattage appliances like freezer, air condition, among others, should have separate outlets.
Protect the Young Ones by Covering the Outlets
Young children are curious; they always want to touch everything and know how it feels. Most times, they find it impossible to ignore electrical outlets. To prevent the young ones from electrical shock, cover all outlets when not in use. You can cover the outlets with plastic caps or block unused outlets with furniture. Better still, you can change to a spring-loaded outlet. This type covers itself automatically when you are not using it.
Apart from covering the outlets, ensure that you place things like electronic devices, extension boxes, lamp cords out of their reach.
Check for any Warm Outlet.
One of the signs of an electrical problem in the house is a warm outlet. You should check the outlet of your home occasionally to detect the ones that feel warm.
Apart from that, you should also pay attention to the outlets that always affect the circuit breaker. The warmness could result from a bad connection and could degenerate into something worse if you don’t attend to it.
Once you discover such outlets, call on the electrician to carry out all necessary repairs.
Get a Fire Extinguisher
When an electrical fire occurs, you should know the right step to take to curtail the situation. Water is a good conductor of electricity; therefore, you should never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water. Extinguishing electrical fire with water will lead to death by electrocution.
Several fire extinguishers are designed for electrical fires; you can effectively put out an electrical fire with any of them.
Despite the usefulness of electricity, it could wreak havoc if you don’t treat it with caution. You can avoid shocks, fire incidents, and death resulting from electricity if you follow the safety rules that guide its use.
The above safety puts have been put together to guide you on how to handle electricity and what you should do in case of an electrical fire. A quick reminder; water is an excellent conductor of electricity; so, you should never attempt to use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Doing that can lead to electrocution.
Furthermore, you should always remember to protect children from electrical hazards. Cover all electrical outlets that are not in use. Also, you need to avoid overdependence on an extension cord; they are designed for short and intermittent usage, not extended or permanent use.