According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 350,000 house fires happen in the United States every year. These fires result in almost $8.5 billion in property damage. However, many house fires can be prevented entirely by practicing electrical safety in the home. Here are tips for keeping your family and property safe.
Trust a Professional for Electrical Safety in the Home
Whether you need to install a new outlet in your bedroom, update the kitchen light fixtures, or add a ceiling fan to the living room, hire a professional to complete any electrical work in your home. An electrician has the training and experience to safely install new fixtures and make repairs without putting you and your family at risk. Electrical projects can be dangerous and are not the type of home improvements you should DIY.
Know the Signs of Electrical Problems
Part of maintaining electrical safety is knowing warning signs so you can act quickly in the event of a hazard or fire. Here are a few of the signs of electrical hazards in the home.
- discoloration on outlets
- burning odors near light switches or outlets
- plugs, outlets, or light switches that are warm to the touch
- routinely blown fuses
- flickering lights
- buzzing sounds from light switches or outlets
One Appliance Per Outlet
Major appliances use a lot of electricity. To avoid blown fuses or straining the electrical system, plug each major appliance directly into its own designated outlet. Don’t use extension cords or power strips to supply power to large appliances. If you don’t have enough outlets for your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, and microwave, hire an electrician to install more for you.
Childproof the Outlets to Boost Electrical Safety in the Home
Everyone in the home should learn about and practice electrical safety, including children. Infants and toddlers are curious, so you’ll need to take precautions to keep them safe. Protect electrical outlets with safety covers that block the openings so kids cannot place fingers, silverware, toys, or other objects in the outlet.
Especially with babies and toddlers in the home, keep electrical cords off the floor. Children may try to play with or pull cables from the wall, creating a hazardous situation. Rearrange the furniture in a room to make outlets more difficult for children to access.