Every homeowner in will quickly admit that their homes cannot function without electricity. We are all very dependent on the appliances and creature comforts that we rely on daily. But what many consumers do not know is that the appliances that make our lives so much easier can also become life-threatening. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are 31,000 residential electrical fires each year. And nearly 200 electrocutions or severe electrical injuries also occur across the country. But many of these travesties could be avoided entirely if homeowners were aware of some simple electrical safety tips.
The Common Causes Of Electrical Fires
Sadly, according to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of residential electrical fires is faulty or damaged wiring or equipment. These issues account for 69% of all electrical fires. The other common culprits include:
- Lighting Fixtures
- Electrical Cords
- Electrical Plugs
- Other Power Supplies
Understanding basic electrical safety and following a few simple tips is the best way to prevent a tragedy that could cost you your home, or even worse, a loved one.
Basic Electrical Safety Tips
- Never Overload Outlets- In many homes, electrical outlets are at a premium because of all the electronics and appliances in use. It is tempting to add a power strip or multi-outlet converter to plug in more items. But remember that these extension devices only increase the number of items that you can plug in. They do not increase the amount of electricity available to the devices. If you notice an outlet feels warm, is making an audible hum, or devices are not functioning correctly, unplug everything. Then call a licensed electrician to evaluate the issue. Adding new outlets is the only safe way to increase the number of safely powered items in your home.
- Electrical Cord Safety- Never use an electrical appliance with a damaged cord or plug. Replace the cord immediately to avoid a fire or severe electrical shock. Also, never run an appliance from a power strip or electrical extension cord. This is an easy way to overload the extension cord and start a fire. Finally, never run cords under furniture, carpeting, or rugs. Electrical cords produce some heat. And when covered, they can quickly overheat and start a fire.
- Unplugged Is Safe- The only way to prevent any potential damage is to unplug all appliances and electronic devices when not in use. Even when turned off, appliances and electronics consume a small amount of electricity known as Phantom Drain. That also means that the item can be prone to all of the hazards of an operating device.
- Water And Electricity Do Not Mix- With all of the electronic and electrical devices in your life, it can be easy to forget about water safety. However, it is essential to keep all electrical devices away from water to avoid potentially life-threatening shocks. Be conscious of leaking flower pots, fish tanks, or vases that could be allowing water to come into contact with an electric device that you might touch.
- Air Circulation- Proper ventilation and space for air circulation is essential for electric appliances. They produce heat that needs to be able to dissipate for the safe use of the appliances. Air circulation is especially crucial around an electric clothes dryer. A foot of space between the unit and any walls is necessary to avoid overheating and a potential fire.
To learn more about electrical safety or to correct an issue in your home, call (915) 221-8214. A licensed electrician from Secure Electrical Contractors will arrive promptly to assist you in fixing any hazardous matters to ensure your safety.