The electrical outlets in your home are convenient features, but they can also create hazards if used incorrectly. To prevent fires or potential electrocutions, your family should follow safety rules when using electrical fixtures. Here’s what most electricians recommend to avoid accidents.
Know when to call an electrician.
Warning signs typically manifest before an electrical wiring disaster. If you feel a slight shock or a buzzing sensation when you touch an outlet, there's a stray current escaping the wiring, and an electrician needs to repair it. You should also call a professional if you smell burning plastic or the plugged devices flicker.
Use outlet covers.
These features are essential in homes with small children or pets who may be curious about outlets. Install plates with built-in covers or put a plastic cap in the socket when you unplug a device. Both solutions cover the opening and prevent curious fingers and noses from snooping near the outlet.
Use devices near water.
Water conducts electricity and increases your risk of a shock or fire due to the stray current. Don’t get water near your devices, and avoid using indoor appliances outside. If you have to use an electrical device in a wet area, like a blow dryer in the bathroom, make sure the outlet and device are designed with circuit interrupters to stop power if there's an electrical accident.
Misuse power strips and extension cords.
Extension cords aren't meant to be left plugged in for a long time. Instead, find a closer outlet or a device with a longer cord. You can use a power strip to plug in extra devices, but never plug one power strip into another—this can overload the outlet.
If you want more tips on how you can protect your family from electrical accidents, contact the knowledgeable team at Always On Electric on the Big Island in Hawaii. These professionals help homeowners maintain and repair their electrical systems. Visit their website to learn more about their residential services, and call (808) 965-1596 or (808) 640-3391 to schedule an appointment.