The technology of electricity has given us so many benefits that made our lives comfortable and convenient. But with how reliable we are on electricity; we tend to take it for granted and forget about the potential home and commercial electrical safety hazards.
Such hazards can be very dangerous and pose threat to everyone in the household. Fortunately, you can eliminate such hazards and reduce the risk by being aware of the dangers and how to solve them, ideally with the help of an experienced electrician.
With that said, here are the 10 home electrical hazards you should learn about!
- Poor or Defective Wiring
All wires in your home should conform to the safety standards. If you have poor wiring, it would increase the risk of fires, power surges, among more serious consequences. This is why you need to avoid DIY electrical work, hiring a professional to perform the electrical wiring at home.
The same goes for damaged and defective wiring, such as wires that have been worn, cracked, or even corroded. These can cause electrical accidents, so be sure to have an electrician inspect your wirings regularly to ensure everything is safe and upgraded.
- Outlets Close to Water Sources
When you have outlets in your bathrooms, kitchens, or living areas that have water sources, you need to make sure that they’re installed a bit farther from the mentioned water source. Water conducts electricity, so when you keep outlets away from them, it will reduce the chances of an electric shock.
Also, do NOT use electronics in the bath, near pools, or in areas with wet floors.
- Wet Hands
Electrical appliances should NOT be handled with wet hands, as you may get an electric shock from them. Unfortunately, a lot of us would reach for hairdryers and other appliances using wet hands after washing the dishes or showering.
As I mentioned, keep all electrical appliances away from sinks, tubs, showers, and tap faucets, and do not use them until your hands are completely dry.
- Pouring Water on Electrical Fires
One mistake people make when they experience electrical fires is that they pour water over it.
If electrical fires occur, do NOT pour water on the flames, as this would fuel the fire further, even causing electrocution. Instead, keep a fire extinguisher near and use this to extinguish the flames. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher and the electrical fire is ongoing, switch off the electrical power, evacuate your house, and call your local fire department.
- Curious Children
Young children, especially curious babies and toddlers, are very inquisitive and want to explore their surroundings. That’s why parents shouldn’t only supervise their little ones at all times, but also take extra measures to protect them from dangers, including the outlets.
Replace electrical outlets within the baby’s reach with extra-safe points. You can interchange these with normal electrical outletsto prevent any sharp objects and fingers from entering the socket. If you leave your outlets and sockets unprotected, it may lead to serious injury.
- Extension Cords
You should make sure that all extension cords are fixed in place carefully wherever possible. This reduces the risk of tripping over extension cords and causing accidents. Also, purchase and use plastic socket closures when you aren’t using the sockets.
Never use extension cords as a permanent alternative for additional power sockets. Furthermore, don’t use them on too many working appliances simultaneously.
We don’t usually think of lightbulbs having any electrical hazards, but they can actually be one in case of electrical fires or if kept near flammable items. These include beds, drapes, plastics, upholstery, among other items.
Furthermore, lights, similar to all electricity sources, may cause an electric shock. Be sure to switch the light off when replacing the bulbs, and do not replace the bulbs or touch light switches with wet hands. Also, make sure that you invest in the lightbulbs with the right wattage to avoid overheating.
- Covered Electrical Cords and/or Wires
When you cover the wires heavily, it would cause cords to overheat, leading to electrical fires. Make sure that the cords and wires are away from any items, especially flammable ones, and leave them uncovered.
Also, be sure that your appliances like computers and televisions have adequate space around them for necessary ventilation, which prevents overheating.
- Old or Damaged Appliances
If you’re using appliances that are even older than your home, then this may be a hazard. While they might look harmless, they can cause accidents and fires. Watch out for frayed, pinched, pierced, or cracked cords, which show damage and overheating,
Do NOT try repairing electrical appliances or wirings on your own, which can cause other accidents. And if ever there are signs of wear and tear already, it’s best to replace them for your safety.
- Electric Blankets
Just like your appliances, old and/or damaged electric balance is a serious threat for your health and safety. Be sure to replace electric blankets that show signs of wear and tear immediately, and never leave it on while you’re sleeping or when leaving the house (even for a short period of time).
I also recommend that you avoid folding the electric blanket when you aren’t using it, since this damages the wiring. After the winter and cold season, have an electrician check if your electric blanket is in good condition.
Wrapping It Up
Every home has its potential electrical safety hazards. Thankfully, you can reduce and eliminate such safety hazards though preparing ahead and making sure you communicate with a licensed electrician in your area if you plan to do any electrical work on your property.
Hopefully, you learned a lot from this list of dangerous home electrical hazards. Keep all these hazards in mind and be sure to take the proper preventative measures to ensure that nothing bad happens to your home and its electrical system now.
Do you have questions or want to share more about these electrical hazards, whether your knowledge or experiences? Share them in the comments section below, all of your thoughts will be appreciated!