Hundreds of people die every year in the US because of incidents related to electricity. Thousands more get hurt badly and sustain property damages that cumulatively amount to billions of dollars. Below are a few tips you can take to minimize electrical hazards in your home and workplace.
1. Making Sure Electrical Components Are Dry Before Use
The most fundamental rule when it comes to dealing with electricity is that all power plugs and cords should remain dry.
Electricity and water don’t exactly make a healthy combination, and even the tiniest bit of condensation can result in health hazards to the person or cause property damage. A good idea is to store cables and power tools above water level when not being used.
If you’re using electrical extension cables, then they should be removed as far away from sources of water as possible. When you’re done using the extension cable, make sure to deactivate it in case someone accidentally splashes bits of water into the sockets.
2. Inspect your Electrical Appliances on a Regular Basis
All devices, cords, and power plugs should be properly insulated and grounded. If they have been damaged or show signs of wear and tear, then the tool should either be repaired or decommissioned until a professional electrician in North Charleston, SC evaluates it. Always keep an eye out for broken cords or plugs that could cause an electrical shock.
3. Install Child Proof Electrical Outlets
Around 2400 children are sent to the emergency room every year because they tamper with electrical outlets. Young children can’t help their curiosities and are driven by the need to explore uncharted territory. The only problem is they are too young to identify danger and would plunge right in to satisfy their curiosity. A good defense mechanism would be to install child proof outlets.
It is very common for children to insert random items inside electrical outlets, which include hairpins, keys, jewelry and even knives. These outlets are designed to be similar to wall outlets, since they satiate a child’s curiosity and get the job done.
The child proof outlet only works when equal pressure is applied to both sides, which small children don’t normally do. Child proof outlets are reasonably priced and prevent electrical shocks, burns and even fatalities. Give your electrician in North Charleston, SC a call to identify outlets that are good contenders for child proof outlets.
4. Keeping a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
The most common error people make is to pour water on electrical fires without realizing that water is only going to add fuel to the fire. The best defense against electrical fire is to use fire extinguishers and try to calm the situation until professional help arrives.
5. Update Your Electrical Wiring
Many homes in the US still have outdated wiring that does not conform to the latest electrical codes. Strong indicators that your home has old wiring are blown fuses and tripping circuit breakers.
If you find it difficult to power all your required appliances and light fixtures at the same time, it could indicate issues with the wiring system. It is also common to receive electrical shocks that range from minor levels to painful levels. These are all signs of poor electrical wiring and in the worse case scenarios can cause injury and even fatalities.
A good idea is to have a professional electrician in North Charleston, SC rewire and update your electrical system. Most people are not aware of electrical hazards associated with older wiring and prefer to follow the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ rule.
6. Install GFCI Outlets in High Humidity Areas
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are an essential component of rooms that have an active water source such as bathrooms and kitchens. Get in touch with your electrician in North Charleston, SC to install a few of them around the house to protect your children against chances of electrical shocks. These devices automatically shut down power when they detect current leaking from the circuit.
GFCIs are designed to monitor current flowing through ungrounded and grounded wires in a given circuit. When the GFCI senses a small deference of as little as 4 to 5 milliamps, it reacts quickly and trips the circuit. The reaction times of a circuit are usually less than one tenth of a second.
It should be noted however that as little as 0.005 A of current leakage can cause the GFCI to trip, which means it is not ideal to install GFCIs with circuits longer than 100 feet, fluorescent lighting fixtures and permanently installed motors.
7. Keeping Your Electrical Panel Up To Date
Think of your electrical panel as the core of your home’s electrical system. It is very important to regularly maintain it to meet the energy demands and safety requirements of modern times. Your panel should be outfitted with special devices such as GFCIs and AFCIs to monitor electricity against different forms of threat and trip when a threat is detected.
8. Replacing Damaged Outlets
Your electrician in North Charleston, SC should routinely check around the house for damages to electrical outlets and switches and replace them when needed. Look for broken plates that could pose a risk of electrocution. A common sign of damaged switches is a buzzing noise that indicates issues with the wiring. This might just progress into a fire hazard if too much electrical current is drawn out.
9. Maintaining Electrical Devices Regularly
Even the most advanced electrical equipment will have safety features that are only as efficient as the person operating it. These devices become unsafe when you don’t follow the basic rules of safety.
Always clean your electrical appliance by removing build up of dust, dirt and other foreign particles that could cause electrical hazards. It is recommended to have a professional electrician in North Charleston, SC check your electrical devices and repair them if needed.
If you are experiencing problems with electrical wiring in your house, then you need the services of professional electrical contractors. With several years of experience, Mister Sparky Charleston offers high end services at an affordable price. Give us a call or visit our website for a free consultation!