Hello World! Welcome Friends! You don’t need to have a professional electrical inspection to find potential hazards around your home. Look for these risks, and you can keep things safe around the house.
Keep Away from Water
Electrical code requires that all outlets and switches are a safe distance from any water source (several feet, depending on the local zoning regulations) so hopefully the plugs themselves won’t be a safety issue for you. You do need to watch where electrical devices are used once they are plugged in though. Keep the toaster away from the kitchen sink, and don’t have a hair dryer by the shower.
Don’t Overload an Outlet
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. An extender or power bar that turns an outlet into 6 is fine, providing you don’t try to run several high-draw electrical devices at the same time. Beyond that, you’re getting unsafe even if the items are not all running at the same time.
Don’t plug a power bar into a outlet extender or vice versa, and don’t plug in multiples of either one. In any configuration, an overloaded outlet will produce more heat due to the draw, and that can lead to potential fires or at least a failure in the wiring.
If you need to open up any electrical device to work on it, or to unjam a piece of something inside (like bread in a toaster), you should always unplug the device first. Just turning it off isn’t enough because there is still active current within the item, and it is still connected to the main power.
Label Your Breakers
Just because you’re not inside the breaker panel very often doesn’t mean you should let it be a cluttered mess. Each breaker switch should be clearly labeled with which location in the house it controls. If there isn’t enough room on the little paper inside the box, make a detailed list to keep elsewhere. Some breakers may control circuits that span more than one room (not sure? double check!). In case of any maintenance or emergency, you need to be 100% positive that you are able to shut the power off in the precise location that needs it.
Don’t Modify Plugs
Have a devices with a 3-prong grounded plug but only a 2-hole outlet? Never pry off that “extra” prong to make it fit. The device will still work, which is why many people think this is perfectly fine. But without the ground prong, it’s no longer safe to operate and you run the risk of serious shock.
Don’t Overuse Extension Cords
Extension cords are a fine tool to have around when your outlets aren’t quite in the right spot. Just use them safely. They really should be for temporary use, and you should never run them under carpets or flooring. Always keep your devices below the rated wattage on the cord to prevent overheating.
Don’t Leave Batteries Charging
Any devices that use rechargeable batteries should be unplugged or removed from the charging cradles when they are done. Not only modern mobile devices like phones, but household tools as well. They will continue to charge even when the battery is full, and they generate quite a bit of heat if left untended.
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