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How to Ensure Electrical Safety In Your Home

3/13/2017 6:02 PM Comments Posted By Floralyn Teodoro
Each year, too many lives and properties are taken away by electrical fires in a snap. Is your home at risk for potential electrically-related hazards?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires, in 2015 alone, resulted in 2, 650 civilian deaths, 11, 075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion property damages. Included in the 365, 500 reported fire incidents are fires in dwellings, duplexes, manufactured homes, mobile homes, apartments, rowhouses, and townhouses.

To protect your family and your properties against the potential electrical hazards in your home, you must always ask for professional help when dealing with electrical works. Other than that, there are also electrical safety guidelines to follow.

Plugs and Outlets

More than the risk of electrical overload, plugs and outlets, when left in the open, can endanger especially the children in your home. To avoid hazards caused by plugs and outlets, you must:

    Cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps to keep them out of your child’s or your pet’s reach. Covering electrical outlets can also help you save on energy by stopping cold air leaks during winter months.

    Never plug too many appliances into a single outlet or extension cord. Overloading electrical outlets can lead to damages in your home electrical system, or worse, a house fire.

    For extra safety, install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electric shocks especially in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the outdoors. In using GFCIs, be guided by the manufacturers’ instructions.

Cords and Cables

The proper use of electrical cords and cables plays a vital role in ensuring your home’s overall safety. To play it safe when making use of electrical cords and cables, here are rules to observe:

    Get rid of and replace electrical cords and cables that are already frayed, exposed, or cracked. Also, in buying new cords and cables, only buy those approved by independent testing labs like UL, ETL, and CSA.

    Always tidy up all cords and cables to avoid incidents like tripping and falling. Untidy cords and cables may also be appealing to your pets; they may accidentally chew on them.

    When using extension cords, keep them away from both heat and water to avoid electrocution. You must also use appropriate extension cords depending on the appliance you’ll use, or where you’ll use them.

Appliances

Every appliance requires electricity to run smoothly. However, when mishandled, they can pose potential hazards. To make sure your appliances are functioning properly and safely, you must:

    Carefully follow the manufacturers’ instructions included in your home appliances. Never attempt repairs or upgrades and always seek for professional help to avoid accidents.

    Keep away flammable items like clothes, linens, and toys from appliances that generate heat like televisions, monitors, and the like. Allow ample space around these appliances for cooling and good air circulation.

    Never plug in or operate appliances with wet hands or while you’re in the water. Likewise, keep away all electrical appliances from tubs, pools, sinks, and anywhere water is present.

General Guidelines

    Other than the above electrical safety practices when using plugs and outlets, cords and cables, and electrical appliances, you must also practice below general home electrical safety tips:

    Determine where your main switch, fuses, or circuit breakers are found. If you know your electrics, you’ll know where to turn off your electrical supply in case electricity problems arise.

    Contact a registered electrician to check the wirings in your home at least every ten years or if you’re moving into a new property. This way, you’ll be assured your electrical wirings are free from any wear and tear.

    If you’re planning to drill holes in your walls, make sure there are no hidden cables or wirings behind them. Drilling a live electric cable can pose extreme danger like electric shocks, burns, or worse, house fire.

    Reduce your home’s risk of catching electrically-related accidents. Ensure the safety of your home electrics, wirings, and appliances. More than that, make sure you and your whole household practice the above electrical safety tips and guidelines ...always.

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