Electricity is all around us, and so commonplace that we often take it for granted. It keeps us warm or cool, provides us light even at night, and keeps our food safe to eat. Yet although we use electricity every day to make our lives easy, it is not without its danger.
When not used safely, electricity can be dangerous or even deadly. Luckily, a few basic safety rules can be put in place to help keep everyone safe when using electricity in the home.
Replace damaged electric cords
Before using anything that gets plugged in, glance at the power cord. Does the cord look normal, or is it damaged? If it has been chewed on, broken, or damaged in any way don’t use it. Do not use that item until the cord has either been repaired or replaced.
Damaged electrical cords can cause fires or electrical shock. It’s important to avoid using them when they are not working as intended.
Have hot outlets inspected by a professional
If you touch an outlet that appears normal and it feels hot, it’s time to have a professional looking at it. An outlet should not feel hot to the touch even when it has something plugged into it. This is not something you should try to repair yourself and needs a trained professional to handle.
Unplug appliances when not in use
If you can unplug an appliance easily, make sure that you do when it is not in use. Any time something is plugged in there’s a risk of it malfunctioning. Although in most cases it will be fine, unplugging a product is still the safest thing you can do.
Unplugging a product when not in use can also help with your electric bill, as even an off appliance draws a small amount of power at all times.
Keep electrical devices dry
Water and electricity is not a good combination. While most people know not to submerge their appliances in water, this also includes things like unplugging something with wet hands. Be mindful of water at all times when working with electricity.
Don’t overload an outlet
There is an endless selection of extension cords and power strips to give you more use out of an outlet. This doesn’t mean that the outlet can handle a power strip chalk full of powerful appliances all drawing from it at once.
Be mindful of what you are plugging into an outlet. Large items like refrigerators should always be plugged into a wall, and only one heat producing item (such as a hair dryer) in an outlet at a time as well.
Electrical safety is important. These tips can help keep you safe so you can enjoy all the things electricity provides for us with fewer risks. If you ever have a concern about an outlet or how electricity is flowing in your house, seek help from a trained professional. It isn’t worth the risk of an electrical fire to try and fix it yourself.