Most people are unaware of the electrical hazards they may be exposed to in their day-to-day lives, even when carrying out simple tasks such as plugging in a device or flicking a light switch. The truth is, electricity can be dangerous: even with the right precautions, accidents do happen. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the most common home electrical hazards and how to prevent them.
Short-circuiting, overloaded circuits, and other wiring problems can cause fires – and possibly even electrocution. The risk of faulty wiring is especially heightened in older homes but can be present in newer homes as well. If you experience flickering lights or sparks coming from sockets, you may have faulty wiring. The best way to identify a wiring problem is to have a residential electrician inspect your wiring system.
Also read: Tips For Choosing The Right Electrical Contractor
Light bulbs with the wrong wattage and low quality
If you’re using lightbulbs with the wrong wattage, or low-quality bulbs, you are at risk of overheating the socket, light fixture and surrounding areas. Lightbulbs consuming too much electricity can cause wires to heat up and potentially malfunction. When selecting a lightbulb, make sure that it is compatible with the wattage required for the light fixture. You should also look for bulbs with energy-efficient labels, preferably LEDs.
Overloading an outlet can lead to overheating, sparks and even fires. To avoid overloading, be mindful of what you plug into an outlet and never use a power strip or extension cord for prolonged periods. If you need more outlets in a room, contact a licensed residential electrician to install additional outlets for you.
Outlets without covers are a hazard– especially for children and pets – and can cause shocks and electrocution. To ensure your safety, always purchase outlet covers that are UL-rated. Plugging items like space heaters into outlets can also increase the risk of shock.
Faulty appliances and cords
Imperfections in cords can arc and cause a fire. Faulty appliances can easily malfunction and become an electrical hazard. Be sure to check cords for fraying or malfunctions, and always purchase appliances that are certified to be safe (whether new or second-hand).
How to prevent electrical hazards in your home
The best way to reduce the risks of home electrical hazards is to ensure that all wiring and connections are in good condition, and all electrical appliances are installed and used correctly.
Practising electrical safety in your home is crucial. It’s important to have an experienced electrician perform regular safety checks to inspect the wiring and connections, and if necessary, make repairs or replace any faulty wiring. Contact your certified residential electrician at KC Electrics if you have any concerns.