Residential electrical circuits are generally fairly safe, but that doesn't mean that they aren't without some degree of safety risks. With nearly 30,000 electrocution accidents every year, this is a very real concern. Understanding what those safety risks are will help you to protect your home as well as your family.
Put Covers On Every Outlet
The surface plates that cover your light switches, outlets and other electrical fixtures are far more than just superficial. In fact, those faceplates are designed to protect the outlets and fixtures from dirt, dust, and debris. They're also important for avoiding accidents with fingers in the outlets, which could cause an electrical shock.
Familiarize Yourself With The Electrical Circuits
Understanding the way that your home's circuit breakers and fuses function is important. Make sure all of your circuit breakers are labeled so that you know which breaker goes to each section of the house or appliance. This helps you understand what you have for power levels in each zone of the house, which makes it easier for you to troubleshoot surges and power loss issues. At the same time, it's also good to know if your home has copper or aluminum wiring because they need to be handled differently.
Dealing With Damaged Electrical Devices
While it might be tempting to continue using a device that only intermittently acts up, it's in your best interest to replace those items. This is important to reduce the risk of short circuits. It's equally important that you address any exposed wires. An electrician can cap the wires or help you to replace them if they are damaged.
Moderate Power Strip Use
If you're using power strips or multi-plug outlets, make sure that you don't overload them with devices. The more you plug in, the more power it draws. The same applies to extension cords because they can also lead to an excess electrical draw. If the circuit can't handle it, it could result in blown fuses and even electrical fires.
Keep Your Electronics and Outlets Dry
Be attentive to any risk of water leaks or electronics placed near sinks or water sources. Water exposure can lead to shorts or other problems. If any electronics are exposed to water, you'll need to shut it off and unplug it immediately. Make sure it dries completely before you attempt to use it again. If you have any reason to suspect serious water damage, call an electrician to evaluate the appliance or circuit before you use it again.
If you're in need of further assistance or electrical repair, contact an electrician in your area.