Electricity is a fundamental part of modern life, but it can also be a source of danger if not handled properly. Whether you're a first-time homeowner or an experienced professional, it's important to stay aware of common electrical safety issues in order to protect your family and property from harm. A survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) revealed that wiring and related equipment accounted for 6% of all home fires, 11% of all home fire deaths, and 17% of all direct property damage. Cords or plugs accounted for 1% of all home fires and 7% of all home fire deaths, while lamps, light fixtures, and other lighting equipment accounted for 6% of all home fires and 5% of all home fire deaths. To ensure the safety of your family and property, here are some essential electrical safety tips: Outlet Overloads – Appliances that consume more power than a home's outlets can provide can overload your outlets and cause them to overheat or trip circuit breakers. To prevent these problems, only plug in one heat-producing appliance at a time and only use outlets that are rated for their maximum current capacity.
Smart Outlets – Smart outlets have sensors that monitor the load on each outlet and shut off power in case they start to overheat. They are required by code and can help save your family's lives in the event of an emergency.
Water and Electricity Don't Mix – This is one of the most important electrical safety tips for homeowners because it can cause serious damage to appliances and even electrocution. Never touch an appliance or outlet when you have wet hands, and always turn off your home's power supply before you use it in the bathroom.
Cords Under Rugs and Furniture – Cords can pose a tripping hazard if they are placed under rugs or furniture, and they can be damaged by friction and crushed cord insulation. They can also overheat and create an electrical hazard, so it's important to keep these tangled cords out of reach of children.
GFCI Outlets – Installing GFCI outlets in high risk areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and outside can help protect your family from a potentially fatal shock. These outlets disconnect the power in the event of an electrical tripping or surge, and they are recommended for older homes with two-prong outlets and old wiring that may be faulty or unable to handle more current than the outlet can handle.
Unplug When Not in Use – This is another essential home electrical safety tip that will save you money on your electricity bill and prevent a costly recurrence of an overheated outlet or appliance. Simply unplug the device when it's not in use, or you can place a tamper-resistant safety cap on it to prevent kids from tripping and pulling out wires.
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