Keeping your property safe means educating yourself about fire hazards in the home. Most frequently, those hazards center around the electrical system and your household appliances. Here are several residential electrical safety tips to keep in mind.
Safety Tips for Using Your Appliances
A helpful and easy safety tip is to unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Leave a few inches of ventilation clearance around appliances such as televisions, computers, toasters, and coffee makers. Don’t drape items over appliances. Keep combustible materials like upholstery and other linens away from appliances, especially space heaters and the stove. Use dry hands whenever touching an appliance and keep electrical appliances away from bathtubs, sinks, showers, and swimming pools.
Residential Electrical Safety Tips: Proper Use of Cords
Keep cords away from young children and pets and don’t run electrical cords under rugs where they might overheat. Regularly inspect all cords for signs of cracking, kinking, or fraying. Never nail or staple cords, like holiday lights, into place because you may damage the protective outer coating.
If you have children, use childproof outlet covers to keep kids from getting electrocuted. Don’t overload outlets by using power strips or multiple adaptors. If a breaker is tripping often, hire an electrician to install another circuit for the area. Do you need to plug a three-pronged cord into a two-pronged outlet? Call an electrician to install a new outlet and ground it so you can safely use the three-pronged appliance.
Check the labels on light fixtures that indicate what wattage of bulbs to use in them. Using bulbs with the wrong wattage can lead to overheating. Make use of LED or CFL bulbs. They use lower wattage levels while providing the same level of light as traditional bulbs. One important safety tip is that you should leave the room and open a window for 15-20 minutes if a CFL bulb breaks because it contains mercury.
Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips
There are electrical hazards to keep in mind outside your home. Prune trees in the yard to make sure they don’t grow too close to nearby power lines. Keep children with kites, balloons, or remote-control planes away from power lines. Don’t go near downed power lines. Call your utility company to report the issue.
Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an electrical fire. Be aware of any indications of electrical problems and use these tips to help keep your family and property safe.