How to Keep Your Home Safe from Electrical Hazards
Electrical hazards around the home can cause serious injury and damage. Electrical shorts and overloads can lead to electrical fires. Some electrical problems are caused by simple issues that are overlooked. The U.S. Fire Administration has reported that electrical problems are responsible for 26,000 residential fires each year, causing hundreds of deaths as well as thousands of injuries and damage to personal items. Certain tips can help reduce your risk of an electrical fire.
Avoid Circuit Overload
Cube taps (the outlet boxes that allow you to plug in multiple devices into one plug), as well as power strips, can overload your circuit and even cause a fire. If you do need to utilize an outlet-stretching device, make sure you are doing the math so you don’t overload the breaker. You will want to have an idea for what kind of load your receptacle can handle and then what collective pull the devices will need. As long as the power requirement of your devices doesn’t exceed the rating of your circuit, then it is safe to use the strip or cube.
Use the Right Bulbs
Check out your lamps to make sure you are using the right bulbs in each one. Lamps are rated for a maximum wattage, so you will want to keep your bulbs equal to or less than that minimum number. Usually, the maximum wattage is printed near the light bulb socket. A strong bulb can overload the lamp wiring and cause a fire.
Watch for Emergencies
Keeping an eye on your home with a sophisticated alarm system can help avoid a serious disaster. In the case of a fire or home emergency, a good monitoring system will detect a problem early and request assistance from the right emergency personnel. Smoke detectors often cause false alarm and don’t have a way to contact the services that would respond fast to put out a fire. With home automation like notifications from an app like Myfox, a notification can be sent right to your phone when a security sensor is tripped and you can actually look at what is happening in your home with camera feeds sent live to your device.
Watch Out for Moisture
You probably already know that you can’t put cords or devices into water without facing a dangerous shock. However, you also have to keep cords from moisture outside and around the home in places where you might not really consider water to affect them. Cords with cracks or exposed wires are especially hazardous. Also, connecting power cords to devices outside could cause a problem if the connection between the two cords is impacted by moisture.
Replace Bad Plugs
When outlets are missing, broken or loose, you will not want to wait to get a replacement part. Safety covers should also be used in outlets if you have young children. Coins, hairpins, forks, knives and other items have been inserted into outlets by children and caused serious injury when covers are not used. Outlets are designed to offer a safe way to connect your devices to electricity, but they may deliver a nasty jolt of electricity if they are not used properly.