An estimated 47,700 home structure fires in the United States every year, all due to some form or electrical failure or malfunction. It’s imperative for every property owner to take the precautions necessary to prevent needless damage and injury resulting from such disasters.
Though some of the below tips may seem like no-brainers, check to make sure you aren’t guilty of any of these infractions:
- Never remove the grounding pin (the third plug) to make a plug fit into a two-prong outlet.
- Don’t nail or staple electrical cords to walls, floors, or other objects.
- Extension cords are designed for temporary use; don’t utilize them as permanent household wiring.
- Replace missing or broken wall plates so that wiring and components never remain exposed.
- If an appliance is repeatedly blowing a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, unplug it and have an electrician check out the problem.
- Outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, workshop and laundry rooms should always be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, and these need to be tested on a regular basis.
- Check electrical cords regularly to make sure they haven’t become frayed or cracked. Also, they should not be placed under carpeting or rugs.
And when working outdoors, take care to keep yourself and all equipment a safe distance—at least ten feet—from power lines and service connections. Check for power lines before setting up ladders or using long tools. Additionally, never use electric tools in the rain or if the ground is wet.
For additional information on preventing electrical hazards, visit SafeElectricity.org.
Your local Handyman Matters office can send out a craftsman to do an assessment around your home to determine if there are any potential electrical hazards that need addressing, and they can assist you with making any necessary corrections. Call 1(800)FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code on our website to locate the office nearest you.