Electrical Safety Tips
With great power comes great responsibility. No, no, I’m not talking about Mr. Peter Parker. I’m talking about electricity, one of the most convenient and useful items in homes today. In fact, I bet you’re using electricity right now! Whether you’re charging your laptop, watching TV, or just using a lamp, you’re making use of the wondrous wonder that is electricity. But with electricity’s power comes a great potential for harm. If you don’t use electricity properly, you’re liable to end up shocked, aflame, or worse.
Basic Electrical Safety Tips
When replacing a lightbulb, follow the recommend wattage. It’s a common mistake to make, but forgetting to check the wattage before replacing a lightbulb can be very dangerous. Usually printed (or imprinted) beside the socket, it’s simple to figure out a socket’s wattage limit and it’s important that you do. The risk is not that your room will be too brightly lit, it is that the base will overheat and cause a fire. The socket contacts are designed for a specific wattage and you should never assume that you can use more than the recommended limit.
Never overload an electrical outlet. Circuits can only handle so many amps. If you overload them, they can cause the circuit breaker to trip. To prevent this from happening, give every major appliance its own circuit (dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) and spread your electrical load out as best you can.
If you have children in the house, use tamper-resistant receptacles. This should be one of the first things new parents do when trying to make their home child-proof. Children love to explore and electrical receptacles are curious things with a strange, face-like design; it’s only natural that they would want to play with them. Use tamper-resistant receptacles and special coverings to keep their prying fingers from tampering with the dangerous socket.
Avoid running extension cords across doorways, under carpets, etc. If possible, have an electrician install additional circuits and outlets where needed so you don’t have to use so many awkward cords. They can be tripped on or pulled out in a harmful way, causing both internal and external damage to the wiring.
Keep an eye out for hazards. If your outlets or switches feel warm, call an electrician. If your fuses are frequently blowing and circuits tripping, call an electrician. If your lights keep flickering or growing dim, call an electrician. Be safe, not sorry.
These are simple electrical safety tips, but they’re incredibly important as well. Follow them in your home, teach them to your children, and always err on the side of caution. Although you may have been ignoring these tips for years without any ill effects, you never know which occasion will be the one you regret. Every year, homes catch on fire due to electrical accidents, with sometimes fatal effects. Electricity is a wondrous thing, but it’s also very dangerous.