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The National Fire Prevention Association reports that defective wiring is the leading cause of house fires. To minimize these risks, have an authorized electrician check the house wiring every few years so you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
If the wiring in your home is 30 years or older, inspect it annually.
Call an electrician immediately if the light in your home dims or flickers without explanation, switches trip repeatedly, or electrical outlets feel hot or sparkle. This is a sign that you may need to repair the wiring in your house.
If a connected appliance gets wet, do not remove it from the wall socket. Go to the electrical panel box in your home and turn off the power source to the electrical outlet to which the appliance is connected. You can then unplug the appliance and have a qualified repairman assess its safety.
First, always unplug the appliance when not in use to reduce the risk of shock. Installing GFCI-protected Ground Fault Circuit Interrupts is an effective way to minimize the risk of electric shock or electric shock. GFCIs will immediately turn off the power if it detects that someone is receiving a shock, which helps prevent serious injury. If the electrical outlets near water sources in your home are not GFCIs, consider hiring an electrician to install them or have GFCI power outlets added to your home’s main power panel.
Wrong wattage bulbs
Using a bulb with a higher wattage than the lamp can safely accommodate can overload the lamp wires, which can cause a fire. Take steps to avoid this danger by using a bulb with a watt less than or equal to the maximum wattage printed on the lamp socket. If you need a stronger light, buy a lamp that uses a higher wattage bulb.
Overloaded power outlets and electrical outlets
Power strips and sockets are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. Connecting multiple high voltage devices to a power outlet can overload the strip or electrical outlet and possibly cause an electrical fire. Another dangerous practice is to connect adapters to the power supply to increase the number of devices it can accommodate. Connecting two or more sockets can also result in congestion.
If you use power supplies in your home, choose models that include a power switch. If the power plug becomes too hot or overloaded, the circuit breaker will drop, minimizing the risk of fire. Use only power supplies with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal and check the power outlet regularly for breakage or damage.
Young children tend to be curious about sockets, which can pose a serious danger. If they put their finger or an object in the socket, they may be burned, shocked or electrically shocked. Protect young children from these risks by using plastic closures to cover any electrical outlet they may reach. For a more permanent solution, install child safety wall panels. These plates have built-in outlet covers that automatically click into place when the socket is not in use.
Improper use of extension cords
Extension cords can be useful, but they are often used incorrectly, which can result in a dangerous situation. To prevent this situation, buy UL-grade extension cords and match the cord for its use. For example, if you Using the extension cord outside, buy one that is designed to withstand the elements.
Do not overload the cord by connecting several heavy appliances and avoid running the extension cord under a rug or other surface. Make sure the cord is in good condition before using it, as these cords do not last forever. If you find that you are constantly using an extension cord to supply power to a specific area of your home, install additional electrical outlets instead.
Operation of an unsafe device
Whether it is a toaster that smokes or a dryer that constantly triggers a switch, malfunctioning appliances are unsafe. Do not use defective appliances to avoid electric fire, shock, burns or other injuries.
If an appliance starts to malfunction while it is in use, go to the electrical main panel of your home and disconnect the power to the place where the appliance is connected. Unplug the appliance and reuse it or have it professionally repaired. Be careful when buying used appliances, as you can not be sure of their safety, and never use a appliance that was recalled. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a searchable database of all recalled devices.