Electrical Safety Tips
homeowners should know
Electricity has an interesting history: it was once a thing of fiction, then it became reserved only for the rich, and today, it’s a necessity for all people. Almost all civilizations depend on electricity and a global power outage would cause irreversible damage to our society. We have established that electricity has many uses, but it doesn’t come without hazards. Here are some useful electrical safety tips every homeowner should know about.
always cut the power
In case something suspicious is happening with your electrical appliances or outlets and you want to inspect the issue, make sure to cut the breaker box first. And don’t be lazy to test whether the switch is shut off (it only takes a few seconds). If you start working on electricity and hit a grounded wire you thought was dry, you’re not going to have a fun time.
don’t overpower the outlets
Some outlets at home are more practically placed than others, and these usually get more use. Your favourite outlets usually have more things plugged into them which is not safe. Instead, try to distribute appliances around the house in order to prevent overwhelming. Or install more outlets at this practical location. While we’re on the subject of outlets, it’s important that all of them are cool to the touch. Warm or hot outlets might signal a serious electrical issue.
use the extension cord sparingly
Extension cords are practical, but they are not a long-term solution for distributing electricity. Keeping things plugged in the extension cord can be a fire hazard and a great energy waste. You can use your extension cord in a pinch, but don’t rely on it permanently. Also, don’t run them under rugs, furniture or anything that can catch on fire in case some sparks fly out.
fix flickering lights
Flickering lights are a common occurrence in some homes and it’s not just something annoying you have to live with. If you often experience flickering lights, it might signal that there’s a loose bulb or a loose wire in your fixture or circuit that can easily cause an electrical fire. Electrical fires are a leading cause of house fires in Australia, and cities like Brisbane have more than 40% of fires caused by faulty electrical devices and fixtures.
If tightening the bulb doesn’t solve your lighting issue, it’s time to call an experienced Brisbane electrician to diagnose and repair any electrical problems in your house. Emergency electricians can be contacted whenever you get worried, so always have an expert on speed dial.
invest in safety features
Your house should be equipped with an arc-fault circuit-interrupter and ground fault circuit interrupters. The first safety feature protects against different types of electrical discharges that occur due to loose connections or damaged wires. The second safety feature is necessary for rooms with running water. GFCI will turn off the electricity when it senses any shock hazards. GFCI is now a standard safety feature in many countries like USA and Australia, and all new outlets have them. If you live in an old home, make sure to equip the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room outlets with GFCIs.
child-proof the outlets
If you have any kids in your home, here’s a safety tip to follow: make sure to protect children from their own curiosity by installing outlet covers. A good idea is to invest in spring-loaded covers that automatically close when there’s nothing plugged in, but there are other solutions as well. The best route to take, though, is education, so teach kids the dangers of outlets, exposed wires and cables.
In case there’s a storm or any electrical issue at home, they need to know to stay away from the danger. This knowledge can potentially save their lives one day.
grab the right fire extinguisher
Electrical fire is different from regular fire, so never use any water to control electrical fire. Water is a great electricity conductor, so pouring water on such a fire can cause a dangerous shock to your body. Instead, use a special fire extinguisher that is rated to handle electrical fires.
When it’s working perfectly, electricity is a blessing, but when it’s not working well, it can be a great danger to your property and health. But now that you’ve read the electrical safety tips for homeowners above, you will be able to react quickly and prevent any issues that might occur.
by guest author Peter Minkoff