Every day, millions of Americans plug appliances into the wall, turn on light switches, and install new fixtures. While electrical wiring today is safer than it has been, using electricity is not without risk. To avoid injury or house fire, here are a few tips for electrical safety in the home.
Signs of Electrical Problems in the Home
Prevention is key to avoiding a house fire. Talk to family members about electrical safety, so everyone in your house understands common warning signs. Some indications of an issue with the wiring or an electrical device are listed below:
- Blowing fuses regularly or blowing the same fuse multiple times
- Discolored outlets
- Warm outlets and switches (besides dimmer switches)
- Buzzing sounds from outlets or light switches
- Flickering lights
- Burning smells or strange odors near outlets
Call an electrician to troubleshoot the issue and make repairs if you notice any of the above signs.
Use One Outlet for Each Appliance to Boost Electrical Safety
Major appliances, like the washing machine and dishwasher, use a lot of electricity. Unfortunately, this can lead to blown fuses and fire hazards. Never plug a major appliance into a power strip or extension cord. Plug each appliance into a designated, grounded outlet. If you do not have enough outlets in your home, call an electrician to have more installed.
Hire an Electrician
Instead of installing a light fixture or new electrical outlet on your own, call an electrician. Trained professionals understand electrical safety and will be able to spot problems and make repairs. The minor savings you experience by DIY-ing an electrical installation might result in personal injury or property damage.
Childproof Outlets to Improve Electrical Safety in the Home
Children are naturally curious and want to explore everything in the home, including electrical outlets. Protect the outlets with plastic covers so your children cannot stick toys, silverware, or their fingers in the slots. Pay attention to the location of appliance and electrical device cords and keep them out of reach of children. Run cords behind furniture and rearrange the room, so furniture covers electrical outlets.