Top 8 Home Electrical Safety Tips
Electricity can be fickle, and if you notice anything amiss, it’s important to pay attention. Whether you are working with electricity directly, or if you notice anything different about your home or business’ electricity.
- Investigate Flickering Lights
Is your kitchen light flickering? Take prompt action and turn off the light and tighten the bulb. If it is still flickering, it may be a problem with the electrical connection, which is cause for concern. To avoid a fire, call an electrician immediately.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on-hand
While it’s important to keep a fire extinguisher on hand, you should also verify that it can be used in electrical situations as well. In the event of an electrical fire, you should never pour water on it, as it can cause shock as the electricity travels up the water stream. Instead, using a proper fire extinguisher will help.
- Let the professionals handle the job
Never attempt to fix an electrical issue yourself. Electricians are trained and experienced professionals who know how to handle electricity safely and can help reduce fire hazards throughout the building. Let a professional electrician handle the job so you can rest assured knowing you and your family are safe.
- Pay attention to warm outlets and burning smells
It’s a good idea to feel the outside of your outlets every few months. If the outlet is warm or hot to the touch, call an electrician immediately and turn off the electricity. This heat is generated by electricity and is a warning sign of a house fire.
Likewise, burning smells, like burning plastic, sulfur, and other smells is another warning sign that the building is at risk for an electrical fire. The electricity should be turned off and an electrician notified immediately.
- Avoid mixing water and electricity
If you must run a cord through an area that has the potential to become – or is frequently – wet, the outlets should be GFCI-certified, and all possible precautions should be taken to ensure that water does not touch the outlet.
Appliances should also be kept away from water while they are plugged in, as water and metal are both excellent electrical conductors, which can cause injury to nearby individuals.
- Don’t overload your outlet
Using an outlet extender to plug more than two things in at a time is poor practice that can result in overload of the outlet. This places more strain on the circuit breaker and can cause the outlet to burn out as it struggles to supply each item with the necessary power to run.
Additionally, it’s important to never use extension cords as a long-term solution. It can be tempting, especially if you have a lot of appliances to plug in, but just like using an outlet extender, it can place additional strain on the circuit breaker and outlet, causing it to work overtime to power multiple items.
- Don’t use cords under fabrics or between doors and windows
Never run a cord underneath, through or on fabrics that can catch fire if an accident occurs. This means keeping cords away from carpets, curtains, rugs, and off fabric furniture. It does not matter what type of cord you are using.
Likewise, it is important to avoid using cords in areas where they will be pinched and the flow of electricity could be hampered, like between doors and windows.
- Trash damaged cords
By tossing damaged cords in the trash and replacing them with new, functional cords, you are reducing the risk for fire. A damaged, frayed, or bent cord may have an interruption in the flow of electricity which corrodes the protective outer layer or may send sparks or electrical jolts through nearby objects.
Overall, electrical safety is an important part of everyday life in the modern world. Knowing the right steps to take can help ensure your safety and reduce the risk of accidental shocks and fires.
Basic Electrical Safety Precautions When Working with Electricity
When working with electricity, an electrician must take certain precautions to ensure that they are not at risk for injury or shock, no matter how small it may be. This is an important part of electrical safety, as electricians are not immune to shock, but they are able to prevent it.
First, the electricity must be turned off to that area of the building before work can begin. This is often achieved by flipping a switch at the circuit breaker.
Once an electrician has done that, they can begin removing any obstacles that prevent them from reaching the wiring. Before they touch the wiring, however, they must ensure that there is no residual electricity running through the lines.
Once the wires are de-energized and any excess electricity has been discharged, the electrician can begin working. Often, safety equipment and precautions are still present even with the electricity turned off. Wearing insulated gloves a one common example of this.
After the work is done, the proper physical shielding must be in place to further prevent accidents once the electricity is live again. One common example of this is outlet covers, which prevents fingers and conductive or flammable objects from entering the same compartment with the wiring.
What are the 4 Main Types of Electrical Injuries?
Electricity-related injuries may occur if safety precautions are not taken. There are four main types of injuries that are both directly, and indirectly caused by electricity.
The first is electrocution, which is the direct shock to the body that then travels through the entire system. This can happen if the electricity is suddenly turned back on while it is being worked on, or if the individual has direct contact with energized conductors. This type of injury is typically fatal or severe and can result in secondary injuries as well.
Another direct type of injury is electrical shock that can cause secondary injuries, but the individual typically survives. This shock is certain to give anyone quite the scare, and the severity of the shock depends on the amount of electricity coursing through the line.
If the proper eyewear is not worn, another type of direct injury can also be retinal burns due to the high heat or intensity of electrical arcs. Welders, for example, will experience this injury if they fail to wear their helmet during work.
While it is often an indirect or secondary injury, falls are a common electrical hazard. Falls can range in severity based on the height and how the individual lands. Even a short fall of a few feet can be fatal if an accident occurs.
Electrocution and electrical shocks can cause muscles to contract, and the body will jolt away from the source involuntarily.
If the individual is on a ladder, they may be pushed off the ladder unexpectedly and be unable to respond properly or quickly enough as the body is temporarily paralyzed and they are unable to mentally react fast enough.
Depending on the situation and the amount of electricity that the individual encountered, they may survive an injury, but it can just as easily be a fatal accident, which is why electrical safety is so important.
When to Hire an Electrician
It’s important to always hire an electrician when working with any kind of wiring. Even if you are confident in your skills, an electrician has years of experience and the proper licensure to ensure that the electrical system is safe, both during work and after. (1) Hiring an electrician will help safeguard your home or business from safety hazards and fire risks.
Electricians can help with any issue tied into your home’s electrical system. That includes adding outlets, installing fixtures, replacing circuit breakers, rewiring and more.
Electricians can help with everything from completely re-wiring the building, to installing a new outlet or a new lighting fixture.
Many electricians will also offer consultations to discuss large projects and provide a professional opinion on the best way to wire a building or provide practical advice on wiring codes for the area.
Whenever possible, hire a local electrician to ensure that they are familiar with the local codes, as these can sometimes vary based on municipality or district. They will also be able to provide reliable quotes based on updated material costs and availability.
Find an Electrical Safety Expert Today
The only way to stay safe when handling electricity is to hire a professional electrician to do the work for you. Even a small job could turn out to have a complex set of wiring behind it, and it is important to ensure that any newly installed wiring is up to code with modern zoning and building types.
To ensure that you are adhering to electrical safety procedures and keeping the family safe during and after the wiring is done, hire an electrician through Same Day Pros.
At Same Day Pros, you have quick and convenient access to local electricians that are ready to provide you with a service quote, no matter how big or small your project may be.
- Forbes, How to Hire An Electrician: Checklist and Tips, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-to-hire-an-electrician/