According to the U.S. Fire Administration, almost 26,000 residential electrical fires are reported to fire departments across the country each year. These cost more to put out than other types of fires because they pose a greater risk of bodily harm and property damage. Electricians advise eliminating hazards around the house to minimize the risk of a fire and keep your family safe. Here, the team at Michael Lawrence Electric in Pico Rivera, CA, shares a few of the most common risk factors.
5 Common Electrical Hazards
1. Poor Wiring
From planning and installation to long-term maintenance, residential wiring systems require a great deal of hands-on care. Using the wrong products, miscalculating the load capacity, and neglecting to replace damaged wires can lead a range of problems including overloaded circuits and electric shock. If you’re not sure what condition your home’s system is in, leave all maintenance and repairs to a qualified electrician.
2. Outlets in Wet Areas
Kitchens and bathrooms are considered the wettest parts of the house, but people often need to use electrical devices in these areas. However, water conducts electricity, making everyday items ranging from coffee makers to hair dryers risky. Upgrade to ground-fault interrupter circuits that turn off when they detect moisture, and always handle devices with dry hands to avoid shock.
3. Curious Kids
Parents of young children often worry that they will try to stick an object into an empty outlet and get hurt. Children are naturally curious, but playing with electricity can result in serious injuries. Supervision is the best preventive measure, and installing outlet covers will ensure that your child can’t access the opening or put something in it.
4. Extension Cords
When there are no more sockets available, some people use extension cords to accommodate additional devices. While a few low-voltage items probably won’t harm the system, the outlet might not be equipped to handle the additional demand. Overloading can lead to damaged devices and fires, so hire an electrician to install new outlets to be sure they’re safe.
5. Pouring Water on Fires
Most people’s first response to a fire is to pour water over it. However, this will only make electrical fires worse and increase the risk of shock because the fluid is an effective conductor. Always keep a fire extinguisher at home for emergencies like this. If you don’t have one handy, then turn off the electricity from the breaker, evacuate, and call for help.
If you’re not sure about the current condition of your home’s wiring system, have it checked by a licensed electrician. The team at Michael Lawrence Electric has been providing electrical repairs and lighting installation services for residential and commercial clients for more than 15 years, making them safety experts. Give the electrical contractors a call at (213) 591-0829 to schedule an appointment, and visit their website to learn more about the services they offer.