Every household relies on electricity to power devices and appliances for entertainment, cleaning, comfort, and work. Heavy electricity usage can increase your monthly bills and put your safety at risk. Here are some of the best electrical safety tips to prevent fires, injuries, and accidents.
Check Wattage for Light Fixtures
Don’t use just any light bulb you have on hand when a bulb burns out. Knowing the correct wattage is essential when it comes to electrical safety. Check the sticker or manual included with lamps and light fixtures before changing the bulbs. Use only light bulbs that are at or below the wattage listed. Keep shades on lamps to protect the bulbs. LED light bulbs generate less heat, are more efficient, and last many years.
Never Place Cords Under Objects
Electrical cords are a tripping hazard and may lead to electrical safety problems. Never run cords underneath carpeting or rugs, as it creates a fire hazard if the cord heats up. Don’t use electrical cords across doorways or the floor of a room. If you find yourself needing to use extension cords frequently, work with an electrician to install additional outlets in the areas where you need them.
Electrical Safety: Outlet Usage
Overloaded outlets are one of the average home’s most prominent electrical safety concerns. When using electrical outlets:
- Only plug one heat-producing appliance (curling iron, crockpot, toaster, etc.) into an outlet at a time.
- Never use extension cords or power strips for appliances.
- Do not plug two extension cords or power strips into the same outlet.
- Unplug items not currently in use.
Allow Air to Circulate Around Appliances
Devices and appliances are more prone to overheating and short-circuiting when they are not adequately ventilated. All appliances in your home should have space for air to circulate around them. Never store flammable items next to electronics or appliances, even if they are not likely to overheat. Some machines, like clothes dryers, need extra space on all four sides to ensure good air circulation.
Childproof Outlets for Electrical Safety
If you have young children, implement childproofing measures for electrical safety. Place covers over electrical outlets that are not in use. If the cords are appealing to your curious toddler or child, move furniture to hide the electrical cables and the outlet. You can also purchase outlet covers that fully enclose the plug and outlet.