Knowing How To Avoid Spring TX Home Electrical Hazards
Almost everything we do today depends on/or is powered by electricity. This article discussed everything you need to know about electricity, electrical applications, and basic electrical safety for the consumer. We will also explain everything electricity works on including outlets, switches, receptacles, plates, to fuses, wires, fittings, and conduits, among others. We will also outline the tools and testing equipment that a DIY consumer should have for it to work.
As beneficial as electricity can be, it is one of the most dangerous/destructive things you need to be careful with. It is for this reason you should follow the basic electrical safety rules when handling any type of electrical installation. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when performing typical electrical installations:
Turn off the electricity supply from the main switch when installing receptacles. You also need to follow the correct wiring procedure and ensure all connections are secured tightly. Next, leave the least amount of copper exposed when stripping. This reduces wastage and exposed wires at the end of it all. Once done installing the receptacles, place it on the wall (lightly fastened) for testing. You can then go ahead and fasten it if everything seems okay.
GCFI receptacles are a must in kitchens, bathrooms, and any other wet areas. This is where electrical safety is critical considering it will be in close contact with water. Failure to install GFCI receptacles in these areas only increases the risk of electrocution or even worse. Be sure to replace these receptacles with a similar one for improved safety.
Do not daisy-chain power extensions or add an extension cable to a power strip. Doing so will only overload either of the strips or extensions resulting in short circuit or even a fire.
How To Prevent Electrical Hazards At Home: Tips & Ideas
1. Water & Electricity Don’t Mix
All electrical appliances should be kept in dry areas free from moisture and water. Never attempt to retrieve a plugged device from water if dropped accidentally. You shouldn’t even try to unplug it from the socket either. Rush immediately to the home’s panel board and turn the power off to the corresponding room. It is after turning the power off that you can unplug and retrieve it from the water. Try to dry the appliance as much as possible before calling a certified electrician to look into it. Do not attempt to use the appliance before the electrician gives you the go-ahead.
2. Listen To Your Appliances
Electrical appliances will always send a warning signal before failing. It will either blow a fuse, trip the circuit breaker, or shock you lightly before failing. If the kettle, for instance, keeps blowing a fuse or tripping the circuit breaker, chances are something is wrong with it, and needs to be checked immediately. The first step here would be to unplug the appliance and discontinue use until a certified electrician inspects, repairs, and declares it safe.
3. Install GCFI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)
Ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles are essentially required anywhere electricals are near water or excess moisture. They are also a requirement in all new home constructions today. The GCFI detects the slightest current leakage (mostly occurs when the powered device is exposed to water) and shuts off power instantaneously thus preventing the risk of electric shock, electrocution, and burns. Older homes may not have GCFIs installed – it is your responsibility to ensure these are installed in your home. These receptacles are essentially required in kitchens, bathrooms, and the garage.
4. Use Appropriate Fuses & Circuit Breakers
Always ensure the right fuses and circuit breakers are installed in your home. This should be done according to the circuit specification and size. Be sure to confirm the wattage rating and other factors when shopping for these in electrical stores. To be on the safe side, have electrician advice on the right fuse or circuit breaker needed for your panel box. You might also want to buy a few extras to use as spares whenever the need arises. You never know when the next fuse will blow.
5. Install Outlet Covers
Little children and babies love poking sticks and even their fingers anywhere they can fit. Unprotected/uncovered receptacles pose a considerable danger to your kids, one of the reasons you should have outlet covers installed. Although plug-in type covers may come in handy, special child safety wall plates would be a better choice. Some receptacles come with built-in retractable covers that snap back into place when the outlet is not in use. Consider investing in these for improved safety.
6. Avoid Outlet-Stretching Devices & Cube Taps
Cube taps and other outlet-stretching devices come in handy especially when you need to plug several devices/appliances at the same time. While these may seem convenient, they increase the risk of overloading the circuit leading in overheated wiring or even fire. Avoid using these devices unless you have to. Be sure to determine how much power these appliances will be pulling from the outlet before plugging them in on the cube taps. The appliances and you will only be safe if everything your plugin doesn’t exceed the outlet’s rating.
7. Replace Broken Or Missing Wall Plates
Aside from aesthetics, wall plates are meant to protect you from touching copper contacts and electrical wiring behind them. An absence of a wall plate or a broken one increases the risk of electrocution should you try to switch it on. It is even riskier at night when you can’t see what you are about to touch. Replacing any broken or missing wall plates eliminates such a risk.
8. Keep Yard-Care Electrical Tools Dry All the Time
Every electrical device or appliance used in the yard or for other outdoor activities should be kept dry all the time. It wouldn’t be advisable to run these devices in wet condition or while it is raining. These include electric lawnmowers, weed whackers, and hedge trimmers. Power down these appliances if it starts to rain while you work outside, and keep them in the garage and away from direct contact with the rain. You should also avoid water puddles and wet grass when running these devices.
9. Match Lamps With The Right Light Bulbs
Always choose the right-sized (in terms of wattage) bulbs for your lamps. If possible, use bulbs with an equal or less wattage as the lamp wiring. This way, the risk of overloading the lamp wiring is greatly reduced hence a lower risk of fires.
10. Take Proper Care Of Your Cables
Your extension cords need proper care too. You need to be gentle with them and never tack them tightly or nail them on. Be sure to leave an allowance to ensure they aren’t pinched between or under heavy furniture. Any excess pressure on the cords may compress the conducting wire or damage its insulation. Leaving the cables pinched by heavy furniture will only lead to overeating hence a higher risk of fire.