It may be hard to believe, but electrical malfunctions and failures account for the majority of house fires and property damage in the United States. That is why it is important to keep an eye on all the electrical work in your home, but you should start with the commonplace components that are usually routinely ignored – electrical outlets.
As such, here are four important electrical outlet safety tips that every homeowner should take into account:
One of the top reasons for electrical fires or electrical failures, in general, is outlets that are installed improperly. For starters, are your bathroom and kitchen outlets installed at a reasonable height that will keep them from getting wet? Also, does each outlet cover encase all wiring efficiently, and is it tightly fastened? Are there sparks coming from inside the outlet? Is there a burning smell or are there char marks left behind after each use? These are important questions to answer.
Your home should no longer have the standard two-prong outlets that were used in the distant past. If you have an older house that still has them, it certainly is time to update them all to ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets, or GFCI, that have three-prong access. These outlets are made to prevent electrical shock and are definitely a safer choice. They are also more accessible since most plugs these days are designed with three prongs to complement GFCI outlets.
GFCI outlets monitor electricity flowing through a given circuit constantly, and they are designed to cut power if the outlet comes in contact with hazards, such as water. They work well outdoors, in bathrooms and kitchens, and in basements.
Did you know that there is a finite amount of electricity that your home can offer at a given time? This is a fact, and you will probably notice this personally if you have three strong appliances going at once in one part of the house. Everything will shut off because you attempted to use more power than you actually have access to. Your circuit breaker will be triggered and shut off the power, keeping you safe, but you should take steps to prevent a shutdown from happening at all.
For example, plug larger appliances into their own outlets, and don’t turn on multiple items at once, if you can help it. You can also have an electrician in Langhorne, PA installs extra outlets in each room, and start buying energy-efficient light bulbs, such as LEDs or CFLs.
You can easily find the standard plastic prong outlet protectors in many big box or hardware stores, as well as online. They should be large enough to fit tightly inside the outlet’s holes, but be simple enough for an adult to remove.
In conclusion, by following these simple electrical outlet safety tips, you can rest easy knowing that your home will be protected against electrical fires and mishaps, including accidental electrocutions. If you need further information, give us a call at FMJ Electrical. We are a local electrician in Bristol, PA that cares about the safety and security of you and your loved ones.