Your home is the place where you can take refuge from the world and all of its problems. Yet, even inside your safe haven, there may be dangers hidden from view behind your walls – unseen but real dangers from electrical hazards that pose a threat to you and your family. The best time to take action is now – before it becomes a problem, and do what is necessary to ensure your home is safe from potential electrical hazards.
Each year thousands of homes catch fire due to damaged or faulty wiring in the house, and many hundreds of people lose their lives. In many cases, it’s a tragic scenario that could have been prevented. Fortunately, with a proactive approach to safeguarding your home from harmful electrical hazards, you can avoid becoming a victim yourself.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Conduct a home inspection.
Whether you rent or own a home, you can easily do an inspection of your home to look for potential electrical problems.
2. Use GFCI receptacles.
GFCI or “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters” are specially designed devices that detect when electric current leaks from the electrical circuit to ground, and will shut the power off automatically at the receptacle before it can cause bodily harm. GFCI’s have saved literally thousands of lives in the 40 years they’ve been on the market, and they are sure to save many thousands of more lives in the years to come.
Check all of your outdoor appliances, pool pumps, fountain pumps, hot tubs, landscape lighting fixtures, and all other devices that use electrical power, and plug them into GFCI outlets that have waterproof covers.
Inside the house, make sure that all rooms with a water source that is within six feet of a receptacle are protected by a GFCI circuit.
3. Conduct a visual Inspection
Do a visual inspection of all of your electrical outlets and light switches for broken parts, cracks, loose fitting plugs, and replace or repair immediately. Also, be sure to check for any receptacles that are hot to the touch as this could be a sign of an electrical problem.
4. Check all of your power and extension cords for wear or damage.
Immediately replace any cords that are cracked, frayed, or display signs of wear.
5. Make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one outlet.
This is important as too many appliances plugged in can exceed the typical rating of 15-20 amps for household outlets and create a shock or fire hazard.
6. Don’t run extension cords under rugs, carpets, and furniture where they can be easily damaged and create an unseen danger.
If you need to use an extension core, remember to plug the appliance first into the extension cord, and then plug the extension cord into the wall outlet to avoid possible shock and fire hazard.