Electricity is one of the most powerful forces available to us. Its use is so commonplace that we often forget just how powerful it really is. As a result, we can get complacent with our electrical safety habits, potentially leading to electrical mishaps such as fires, electrical shocks, and damage to electrical devices. For that reason, it's a good idea to review electrical safety from time to time so that we can be sure we're handling things as safely as possible. Consider these four areas of safety.
Monitor Cords for Wear Many things in our homes get positioned once and left there for years. If you have appliances, lamps, or other devices that have been plugged into the same outlet for a very long time, check out the cord. It could have easily been sharply bent, causing internal damage to the cord that could eventually lead to a fire or malfunction. Any signs of wear on device cords call for immediate repair by a qualified service technician. In addition, you should see about having a receptacle relocated or added to better accommodate your home's layout.
Be Alert to Water We often say that water and electricity do not mix, but the problem is that they do. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so any kind of standing water from leaks in the roof, wall, or plumbing is a serious electrical hazard.
Make regular checks on the water heater, gutters, sink drains, and all other sources of water to make sure that there is no shock hazard. Pay extra attention to those areas during times of heavy or wind-driven coastal rains that could create an unusual amount of water in hazardous areas.
Make Things Kid-Safe Children don't understand the power of electricity, nor do they have any concept of how it works. They may touch or move things that pose a real hazard to their safety if we are not constantly on the lookout for them.
We all know to make sure children are safe around electricity, but little oversights are easy to experience. Things that were safe for adults can quickly turn into real hazards once a child enters the home. Unused receptacles should be plugged with appropriate plastic covers. Any appliance that has damaged connections or missing cover panels should be repaired immediately. Cords that hang out in the open where children can reach them should be securely stowed out of sight and out of reach, and any worn or damaged equipment should have professional repairs.
Replace Malfunctioning Equipment Many injuries and home fires are the results of a casual attitude about electrical items that weren't working right. A flickering light or water that keeps tripping its breaker is more than just a nuisance. It is a sign that something isn't functioning correctly, meaning there is a risk of shock or fires if action isn't taken. Check simple things first to make sure that the cord hasn't been partially pulled out of the receptacle or that a bulb is loose. If you do not find anything like that, take action right away to have the appliance checked out by a qualified professional.
Electricity does so many things to improve our quality of life, but it also requires your attention and occasional repair or upgrades. Keep an eye on the electrical systems in your home, and make sure you contact us at Beacon Home Services to take care of any problems you find.