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Home Electricity Safety Tips

February 21, 2012

Electrical malfunctions are one of the greatest causes of home fires, and even though you can’t monitor your system 100% of the time, there are certain things you can to do minimize the risk of electrical accidents from occurring.  One of the most important things you can do to protect your family is to be sure that everyone in the household knows and understands proper electrical safety precautions.

Below are some helpful electrical safety tips that you and your family should know:

  • Keep your electrical appliances away from liquids.  Keep your kitchen appliances as far away from your sink area as possible.  The same goes for curling irons, electric shavers, and hair dryers in your bathroom – the further away from your sink and bathtub they are, the better.  Never handle electrical equipment of any kind when taking a bath or shower.
  • Regularly check your outlets for possible loose-fitting plugs or damaged plates. Replace any broken wires.
  • Install safety covers on all of your outlets when you are not using them. This will prevent children from sticking their fingers in them and being shocked.
  • Unplug all of your appliances whenever you clean them or they are not in use.   Make it a habit to check all of your plugs to be sure they are unplugged before you leave your house – if there are any electrical shortages while you are gone, it will minimize the risk of them causing a fire.
  • Do not attempt to do any sort of electrical work or repairs if you are inexperienced, unknowledgeable, or feel in doubt. Call an electrician.
  • Never overload your outlets at home.  If you need to plug in more devices, find another outlet.
  • Provide enough ventilation around your appliances and electrical sockets to avoid overheating.
  • When pulling a plug from an outlet, pull it gently.  If you yank it out quickly, it may come off, but it will also reduce the life of both your cord and your plug.  More importantly, damaged cords and outlets are more likely to start fires.
  • Choose light bulbs and fixtures that are the correct wattage for their electrical hookup.  Also, when installing a light bulb, screw it in securely because loose bulbs are more prone to overheating.
  • Do not run cords under your carpet, rugs, or even furniture. That blocks their ventilation and will cause them to easily overheat.
  • Make sure that the area around your switchboard is open and free of clutter.  It is also important to label your switchboard and make sure that adults in your home know where it is located.
  • Never let your electrical cords become tangled because it can cause your wires to break or even short circuit.
  • Teach your children electrical safety at home.  It will help them take the proper precautions and understand the grave consequences electrical accidents and fire hazards.

Chris George
Oklahoma City Realtor

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