Modern homes are full of appliances, systems, and electronic devices that use electricity. These items boost daily life, but they also carry potential electrical hazards that many people are unaware of. According to the International Electrical Safety Foundation, an estimated 51,000 electrical fires occur each year. To stay safe and avoid electrical mishaps, here are five essential tips to keep in mind.
First, it is important to keep water and all other types of liquids at least 5 feet away from any source of electricity. In humid environments, it is recommended to install ground fault circuit breakers to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock, overheating, and other electrical incidents. When disconnecting electrical equipment, gently pull it to plug it in instead of moving the electrical cable abruptly. Second, be aware that solvent- and water-based cleaning materials are electrically conductive, as are steel wool and metallized fabric. It is best to hire a professional contractor to help with any electrical problems and minimize the risk of electrical mishap in your home.
You can also place sticky notes with drawings of electricity, such as lightning or light bulbs with sparks, on certain objects to remind them to be careful. Using a digital checklist and performing regular self-inspections can help you identify potential electrical hazards and develop strategies for better preventive measures. Third, wear rubber-soled shoes when using electricity in places where there may be humidity (for example, when changing outdoor light bulbs, hanging Christmas lights, or pruning trees). Rubber is an insulating material, which means that in the event of an electrical shock, the soles will prevent current from passing through. Fourth, use a portable ladder with non-conductive side railings and stay at least 10 feet away from any exposed power line while performing elevated work. A good electrical installation involves placing fixed electrical equipment and electrical cables out of the way (and out of reach of pets, who may bite them).
If cabinets cannot be closed or if an electrical hazard cannot be completely closed, shields, barriers, or insulating materials must be used. Finally, it is important to be vigilant when using electricity. Electrical equipment that may cause ignition should not be used where flammable vapors, gases, or dust are present. Being vigilant can help prevent you and your family from facing dangerous electrical situations such as hot faceplates, sparked outlets, and overloaded circuits. Learning about electrical safety is crucial to avoiding avoidable accidents and keeping you and your family away from any danger.
By following these five essential tips for electrical safety, you can ensure that your home is safe from any potential hazards.