Bad Electrical Safety Habits
Look behind your entertainment center. Does it look like a spider web full of electrical cords and wires crisscrossing?
How about the lightswitch at the top of the basement stairs. Does it have a faceplate on it? Is the switch exposed because “no one ever sees the basement, so who cares about appearance?”
Are you still using that electrical cord your father gave you back when you bought the house years ago? Bright orange with tears and tape all over it. You know the one. We’ve all used one at some point.
Your home is flowing with electricity. All of your important appliances and gadgets are connected 24/7. Everything from your security system to your kitchen appliances, to your kids’ gaming systems. They’re all connected through your all-important electrical systems.
Electricity Makes Our Lives Easier
With all of that electricity in your home, are you practicing safety? In addition, when was the last time you had an inspection from a licensed electrician?
If you answered “I don’t know,” and “No,” then keep reading.
If you answered yes, pat yourself on the back. Then skip down to the safety checklist.
Undoubtedly, electricity makes our lives easier. It keeps us connected and powered up. Without practicing electrical safety in your home, it could make our lives hazardous, and more expensive.
We’re going to cover why electrical safety is important, a checklist you can do yourself, and how you can practice electrical safety.
But First, Just the Facts
Homeowners complacent about their electrical safety are behind some of the following shocking statistics:
- Behind cooking fires, heating fires, and intentional fires, electrical fires are the fourth most common type of home fire in the U.S.
- Each year there are more than 50,000 electrical fires, resulting in nearly $1.3 billion in property damages. Insert cash-register sound-bite here.
- On average, electrical fires result in around 500 deaths and 1,250 civilian injuries annually.
- Extension cords aren’t designed to be plugged in for long periods, which produces electrical fires. This results in about 50 deaths and 270 injuries each year.
- Studies show that about 50% of electrical fires could have been prevented had AFCIs (arc-fault circuit interrupters) been installed.
What’s sad about these statistics is that most of these fires could have been prevented with proper safety. That’s why we make a point to educate our customers whenever we find anything unsafe.
We’re looking at you Ms. Martin of Havertown!
Welcome to Electrical Safety Month
First, we’d like to start by welcoming you to National Electrical Safety Month. Every year, the month of May is observed at Nationaal Electrical Safety Month by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi).
We take pride in improving electrical safety at every home and job site. We enjoy having the everyday opportunity to assist our customers and help keep them safe.
Why Electrical Safety is Important
The answer to this probably seems pretty obvious.
Electrical safety is important in your home. Electricity is an amazing force worthy of our respect and consideration. Think about all that it powers in your home – appliances, lighting, gadgets – practically everything in your home is connected.
By practicing electrical safety, you can lower the risk of accidents, avoid overworking your electrical system, and most importantly, keep you and your family safe. There’s no dollar value you can put on a family.
Always remember you can ask a professional to take a look and keep you and your family safe.
Now, let’s move onto your safety checklist and what you can do and look for in your home to practice good electrical safety.
Your Safety Checklist
While it is still important to let professional electricians manage your electrical safety, there are safety checks you can do. It’s a good idea to go through your electrical safety checklist at least once a year.
Here is your electrical safety checklist:
- Do something about those cords that are running across doorways or under carpets. If no rearranging can be done, call us to install more outlets for you.
- When possible, arrange cords and have outlets installed in places where children cannot access. You don’t want your child to get burned, shocked, or electrocuted.
- Ensure that all receptacles and switches have faceplates.
- Inspect all electrical cords for damages. Replace the damaged cords or take them to a professional to repair.
- Check to make sure that the bulbs in your home match what is safe for each light source.
- Remember to only plug one heat-producing appliance in at a time. These include appliances like microwaves, irons, coffee makers, and toasters.
- Make sure that AFCIs and GFCIs are installed in your home to protect against fire and shock. If they’re not, call our electricians. We can do this for you in a timely matter. You’re flirting with disaster without AFCIs and GFCIs.
How You Can Practice Safety
Of course, some of these safety warnings seem obvious, but they are of vital importance in avoiding hazards.
- First, go over your safety checklist and be sure you’re following the basic safety protocols above.
- Second, maintain consistent communication with your go-to electrician. Have them conduct annual inspections of your home. They’ll find electrical hazards you’re not trained to spot.
- In addition, you can sign up to be a VIP member with Dream Team. The membership offers annual inspections for all 3 trades, including electric. Learn more here.
Electricity makes our day-to-day lives easier. Just be sure you and your family are practicing electrical safety in your home.
One last note – consider training your kids for cases of possible hazards at home so they are prepared in the most basic way in handling a potential crisis.