May is National Electrical Safety Month with the intention to educate the public on how to prevent fires, deaths, and injuries related to our daily use of electricity. The home should be the safest place in our lives, but more accidents and injuries happen there than in our workplace. Accidents and injuries occur at home because we are not taking more precautions about how we use electricity in a very familiar place.
The Electrical Safety Foundation reports that electrical accidents at home are more common than we think. There are more than 50,000 electrical fires which occurs unnecessarily in the home annually. By taking an assessment of our homes electrical health should be an annual event to prevent deaths, property damage or loss. There are a number of precautions and tips that the whole family should be mindful of as we dry our hair, as we cook, as we wash dishes, and how we monitor crawling tots.
DIY Electrical Projects
Unless you are one of the Property Brothers, DIY electrical work is not highly recommended. The risk of an accident when working around electricity is far greater for someone who is not trained. However, if you have decided to go ahead with your DIY work on changing out a wall circuit or if you are using home power tools, take these tips to heart. Do it yourself electrical safety goes a long way in savings lives and preventing do it yourself electrical hazards.
Turn off the power to the area you are working on. Test the wiring before you start to work to ensure that the power is off. When using indoor or outdoor power tools, electrocution is the main cause of electrical bad news. Do it yourself electrical hazards account for more than eight percent of tool accidents like nail guns, power saws, trimmers, etc. Educate yourself about the tools you are working with. Do it yourself electrical safety tips in working with power tools include:
• Do not let your extension cord exceeds beyond 100 feet in length
• Do not use power tools around or near electrical wires or water pipes
• Do not cut or drill into a wall where you could accidentally be in touch with electrical wires or water
• Use power tools with insulated grips and wear protective gear
Just work safely!
Cords and Plugs
Cords and plugs can be an innocent synergist for accidents and injuries. It is safer if cords and plugs are not used near water sources and they should be placed away from human traffic so that there is no tripping or falling accidents. People often haphazardly unplug cords by the cord, which is dangerous, gently pull the plug only. Young parents must take care of toddlers who love to explore everything that is close to their height and within their reach. Help protect the babies by covering electrical sockets or electrical outlets.
Remember not to overload your wall circuits. If your appliances and technology gadgets are not operated wirelessly, you are using multiple circuits to keep things plugged in. That is fine, if you use power cord strips designed to manage multiple plug-ins. However, heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. should have their own reserved plug-in wall circuit. In addition to causing a breaker overload, these household appliances on the same circuit will overload you bill. To use multiple electronics or lamps on the same circuit is not as safe as it appears. The currents running through our home is equipped for 20 amps safely. Spread out the plug-in circuit environment to keep your electrical systems and your home safe.
Homeowners should be educated on the fuse operations within the home. Older homes still have the traditional fuse panel and hopefully as a homeowner you know where it is located. The fuse box is safe if you don’t overload it. A fuse can only accommodate its industry standard amperage. If your fuse becomes overloaded, the power it tries to hold will break the metal strip and you have lost power. Overheating in the fuse box can also cause an electrical fire.
When checking a blown fuse, unlike a circuit panel, a fuse must be replaced, it cannot be reset. The main switch in a fuse box is the source of your electricity currents. Before working on it turn the power off. Electricians suggest that when checking a blown fuse your feet should be grounded. A simple grounded fix is to place a rubber mat where you are standing. Instead, play it safe and call your local certified electrician.
Finally, homeowners should always check their electrical components. Occasionally inspect your electrical outlets to make sure that you don’t see any discoloration, like a dark smudge on its surface. This is a good indicator of an inner problem. Also monitor your cords which can wear out quickly and replace them before they cause a fire. Avoiding electrical mishaps around the house can be prevented when homeowners remain cautious and smartly hire certified electrical contractors to handle electrical projects around the house.