Electricity is wonderful, and we need it, but it can be dangerous. If handled incorrectly, it can be life threatening. Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51, 000 fires each year, almost 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
Dangers of Electricity at Home
- Water & Electricity Don’t Mix. Water and electricity can come together in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that have a sink. These areas must be equipped with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlets. These outlets have three-prongs and a safety reset button. They are designed to shut off the electricity to the outlet if water gets anywhere near it. Water and electricity should never come into contact with each other. Never touch electrical appliances if you are wet or touching water. You also need to keep these appliances away from showers, sinks, tubs pools, etc.
- Extension Cord Limitations. Our world is more wired today that its ever been. This means that extension cords have become very popular. As tempting as this may be, don’t do it. Extension cords are only meant to be used as a temporary fix. Overuse can cause them to overheat and ignite an electrical fire. They can also become a tripping hazard and tripping over then can cause them to break and lead to shock and fire hazards. Have another outlet installed if you find yourself using an extension cord too much.
- Damaged Electrical Cords & Exposed Wires. While we’re on the topic of cords, do not use cords that have become frayed, cracked, melted, corroded or discolored. When inner wires become exposed, they can cause shocks burns and fires when they are plugged in. To keep cords in good shape, always unplug them by grasping the plastic plug end instead of yanking on the cord. Even though electrical tape seems like a good fix to damaged cords, don’t do it. The cord is still dangerous. Buy a new one.
- Child Proofing Electrical Socket Covers. The outlets in your home are low to the ground and so are kids and pets. Kids and pets are very curious and like to explore. When items are stuck into outlets, it can create a dangerous situation. You should put plastic child-proof covers over all the outlets in your home to prevent fingers, claws and other items out of the electrical plugs. You can also opt for tamper-resistant outlets.
- Dead batteries in smoke detectors. The smoke detectors in your home can save your life, but two out of three people that die in a house fire had smoke detectors that weren’t working. It’s important to test them once a month by pressing the “Test” button and make sure to change the batteries every six months. Every room in your home needs to have a smoke detector and at least one on every floor. You will know if a smoke detector in your home is running low on batteries when it lets out that annoying toot every minute or so. Change the batteries right away when you hear this sound.
Electrical Wiring & More in Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter & Boca Raton & Palm Beach County Florida
It’s important not to attempt DIY electrical projects in your home. Electricity inside your home should be dealt with by a professional electrician to ensure safety. If you need an electrician, give Simon Electric a call!