Electrical failures and malfunctions are the second leading cause of home fires in the US, leading to deaths and property damage. To protect you and your family at home, here are a few electrical outlet safety tips.
- Update the outlets.
Replace two-prong electrical outlets with three-prong or Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and cut power if the outlet comes into contact with water, helping prevent electrical shock. Install these outlets in rooms that have access to the home’s plumbing system, such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements.
- Inspect the cords and covers.
Damaged cords with exposed wires should be replaced and never plugged into an outlet. Also, check outlet covers at least once a year and make sure they still protect the wiring and are securely fastened to the wall. If you notice any cracks or chipped corners, replace the outlet cover. If they seem hot to the touch or burned, or if you hear buzzing, call Tucker Hill for an inspection.
- Avoid overloading the outlets.
Overloading the outlets could cause the power to go out in that area or the entire home. To prevent a circuit breaker from tripping, follow these tips:
- Plug major appliances into their own wall outlet.
- Don’t turn on multiple devices at the same time.
- Use energy-efficient LED or CFL light bulbs.
- Schedule installation of additional outlets.
- Slowly and safely unplug the cords.
Never tug at a cord, but unplug it from the base. Tugging a cord can break wires, bend plugs, and damage the outlet.
- Childproof the outlets.
Children are curious by nature and will explore everything from bathroom cabinets to electrical outlets. Protect young children from electrical shock by purchasing plugs with plastic prongs that fit inside an outlet and prevent access.
Bonus Tip: Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
Even if you do all you can to prevent electrical shocks and fires, the risk is still present. Store a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach spot and learn how to use it.
For additional tips and to schedule an electrical inspection, contact Tucker Hill today!