The nation’s independent insurance agents recently conducted a study that revealed more than 18 million homeowners never routinely check for electrical hazards in the home. This means that only one out of four of us actually take the time to check for these hazards.
Did you know that home fires caused by electrical hazards account for 900 deaths each year and over $1.7 billion in property damage? These are startling statistics in light of the fact that a check for these types of hazards is easy and does not take a lot of time.
Myrtle Beach Electrician recommends some simple steps to take.
Let’s start with appliances:
All of us have a wide variety of appliances in our homes from coffee makers to microwave ovens to holiday decorations. By following a few simple electrical safety tips, you can keep your home safe all year around.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. Make sure that you wrap the cords and stow them out of the reach of children and pets. Use a simple twist tie to contain your cords and store them behind the appliance.
- Take special care with appliances that generate heat such as clocks, computer monitors and televisions. There should be several inches of clearance around the appliance to allow for cooling and circulation. Avoid draping clothing or other material objects over appliances when they are plugged in, even if they are not in use.
- Always read and follow the instructions for use of an appliance. Never attempt to fix an appliance when it is plugged in. This includes retrieving a slice of toast from a toaster with a knife while it is still plugged in or cleaning a George Forman appliance while plugged in.
- Unless you are a professional electrician, don’t attempt the repair of an appliance. Plugging in an appliance that has not been repaired properly can be a hazard to yourself and your home.
- Always keep electrical appliances such as radios and hair dryers away from water in sinks, pools and overhead vents that may drip.
- This is one we all know but sometimes forget. Never operate appliances with wet hands or while standing in water. Water makes a great conductor for an electrical current!
- Make sure that you keep curtains or drapes away from heating vents or other heat sources. This also applies to clothing and toys made of cloth such as stuffed animals.
How about outlets – here are a few recommendations from the Electrical Safety Foundation:
- Periodically check outlets for loose fitting plugs that can overheat.
- If you have small children make sure that you put safety covers on all unused outlets.
- Occasionally you will want to walk around your home and touch all of your outlet plates. If you find they are hot to touch or if they have discolored, you may have a heat buildup at the connections. This is the time to contact a professional electrician and have your home checked for possible problems.
- It can be frustrating to only have a three pronged plug and only have two pronged outlets, but never remove the third prong, referred to as the ground pin, to make it fit into a two-conductor outlet. This could lead to an electrical shock.
- Do not overload an outlet. Make sure that appliances such as computers and televisions are plugged into surge protective devices. Never plug more than one surge protector into the same outlet.
- If you have a pool or crawlspace, you will want to contact a Myrtle Beach electrician to install a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet.
In a future post we will discuss safety tips with cords, light bulbs and outdoor safety. By taking just a few minutes once a month to check your home or condo you can prevent serious damage to your property and family.
Myrtle Beach Electrician Pros
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577