Living in a safe home is top priority. Ensuring your home is safe from electrical hazards is an essential not only for safety, but also energy efficiency and resale value. Inefficient and unsafe homes tend to have old electronics or wiring setups that pose a fire risk for living and are less desirable for buyers.
Home Electrical Safety Checklist & Tips
Replace Old Appliances and Light Fixtures
Not only are old appliances and light fixtures big energy consumers, but they also pose an electrical risk. Electrical parts become old and deteriorate from constant use and heat exposure. This results in hazardous electrical parts. Avoid buying used appliances and fixtures to prevent this problem. The safest route is to buy appliances and light fixtures that are both new and energy efficient.
Make Sure No Electricity is Near Water
One of the biggest hazards is having electricity near water. Make sure all plugs that are in the kitchen, bathroom, and any other room with water, are tamper resistant. Although this does not make it waterproof, it is safer than regular plugs. Keeping everything that uses electricity as far away from water as possible is important for preventing fires and electrical shocks. Some tools such as electric scrubbing brushes can get wet at the brush area, however never leave electrical tools unattended near water. Instead dry after use and store away.
Update Electrical Panels and Wiring
Old electrical panels and wiring are more prone to catching on fire. After a long time the wires wear out, insects and rodents can sometimes chew the wires, and fuses and circuits become old, so they do not work properly. All these problems pose a fire hazard. Some old electrical panels cannot handle as much power as needed for people’s everyday lives, due to the increase of electricity consumption with all the new devices people have today. Using more electricity than the panel can handle can result in multiple fuse and circuit trips and fires. These fuses and circuits are there to protect the panel from overload, so when these do not work properly, they do not prevent the overload of electricity. The overload of a panel can result in overheating and a fire. So make sure the new panel you go with can support your needs plus some extra. While getting a new electrical panel consider getting solar to help meet your electrical needs.
Install smoke detectors
Although this is not a way to prevent electrical hazards, smoke detectors are often an overlooked necessity. Many people either do not have smoke detectors or they just don’t change the batteries. Nobody plans on having a fire or carbon monoxide problem, however these are necessary devices to keep those living in the home and the home itself safe.
Long Cords and Cables
Long cords and cables that run electricity should never run in non-visible areas such as under a carpet or be stapled in place. Damaged cords should be immediately discarded due to exposed electricity which can easily catch on fire with nearby objects.
One common problem is people using the incorrect wattage for their light fixtures. Using a wattage that is too high for the light that results in over heating and a fire. Instead see what the light fixture recommends; if there is no specified wattage then consult a professional. Local hardware stores can often help you with this problem.
Make sure you clean periodically around areas with electricity, such as around plugs and behind appliances. The accumulation of dust and other particles can affect how the device runs, such as slowing it down, overworking the device, and even catching on fire.
Electrical Safety at Home
These are just a few examples of how you can protect your home from electrical fires. Electricity can be dangerous, so always take caution when working with it. Always consult a professional when unsure about how to fix electrical problems or installing appliances and light fixtures.