Electricity plays a pivotal role in almost all our daily activities. However, we often take electrical safety concerns for granted. It can be extremely dangerous if you don’t follow basic safety guidelines in your Matthews, North Carolina, home. Failing to use appliances, cords, and wiring properly can result in equipment damage, house fires, and electrocution. Here are a few electrical safety tips to keep in mind to prevent electrical accidents at home.
Install GFCI Outlets
One of the most effective ways to improve electrical safety is to install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that GFCI outlets prevent 50 percent of all potential home electrocutions. The National Electrical Code requires the installation of GFCI outlets in locations including:
- Balconies, decks, and porches
- Kitchen countertops
- Laundry areas
If your home is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance you need to upgrade your wiring and install GFCI outlets. They are inexpensive and simple to install, but it’s always best to hire a professional electrician. Your team at Horne Heating and Air Conditioning is happy to provide a consultation and installation service.
Use Extension Cords Safely
Extension cords are handy devices to use when there’s no electrical outlet nearby. However, it’s essential that you use them safely. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, extension cords cause over 3,300 home fires each year. If you must use them, follow these guidelines:
- Do not plug them into other extension cords. It is better to buy a longer cord.
- Check all cords for damage before using them.
- Do not plug too many devices into the extension cord.
- Do not use a three-pronged plug in a two-pronged outlet.
Extension cords should only be a temporary fix. If you find you frequently need extension cords to meet everyday electrical use, it’s a sign that you need to upgrade your home wiring and install additional outlets.
Avoid Water Around Electricity
Water and electricity are a dangerous mix, so exercise caution and avoid using electrical devices around water or wet areas. Observe additional safety precautions:
- Schedule an annual professional inspection of the electrical system for your pool or spa. Our electricians are licensed and have years of experience and relevant training.
- If using an extension cord outdoors, make sure it is intended for outdoor use.
- Do not use electrical tools in the rain.
- If your appliance has water damage, for example following a flood or a spill, do not use it. Have a professional inspect the product.
Many of these tips might seem obvious. However, when you’re caught up in a task, or if you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to overlook safety measures. It’s also common to make the mistake of thinking that if you do something quickly you might get away with it. It’s not worth it to take chances with your life or the lives of your loved ones.
Hire a Licensed Electrician
Whether your home needs a few extra outlets, a new light switch, or a re-wiring job, you should always hire a licensed electrician. While it might be tempting to do some jobs yourself, many things could go wrong. The entire circuit could be faulty, and without the proper tools or experience, this could go undetected. Damaged wiring can ruin appliances or cause a fire.
Licensed electricians undergo extensive training before obtaining their licenses and usually receive ongoing training thereafter. Our service techs have all the required certifications and insurance. When you need electrical work, whether it’s a new installation, upgrades, or inspection, look no further than Horne Heating and Air Conditioning. Give us a call at (704) 393-3273, and our skilled team will provide the dependable service and peace of mind you need. We always make safety a priority.
Image provided by Shutterstock