Hazards With Electricity – When it comes to electricity, most people think of the obvious hazards: accidental shocks from a faulty switch or appliance, for example. But what about the hidden dangers? Electricity can be risky if you’re not careful. Accidents, fires, burns and electrocution are all very real risks if you don’t take precautions.
Follow these tips to avoid the hidden hazards with electricity in your home and reduce your risk of injury. You may think that because you have electricity in your home, it’s less dangerous than other types of power like natural gas or propane.
However, as with any kind of potential danger, there are risks associated with electricity that you need to know about. In this article we explore some of the hidden hazards with electricity and offer advice on how you can stay safe.
Hazards With Electricity
Here are some 10 hidden hazards with electricity you may not have been paying attention to:
- Unattended electrical appliances
- Damage cord and appliances
- Poor wiring in home and offices
- Not using GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
- Bending or coiling wires
- Poor electrical equipment and appliances quality
- None lock in place extension cords
- Flooding live electricity area with water
- Faulty batteries
- Storing flammable materials in an electrified areas.
Below are tips to curtail these hazards:
Turn Off The Electricity
The first and most important step towards avoiding any injuries associated with electricity is to shut off the power. If you’re working on electrical equipment, such as installing a new fixture or unplugging and replacing a broken appliance, make sure you turn off the power. Electricity travels through all parts of the system, so you need to make sure that the power is completely off.
If there’s a fuse box in your home, you can turn off the electricity by shutting off the fuse that controls the circuit you’re working on. For an electrical panel, make sure you turn off the main circuit breaker. If there’s an electrical emergency such as a fire or if you’re not sure if the power is off, call a qualified electrician immediately. You shouldn’t attempt to fix it yourself because you can get hurt and make the situation even worse.
Keep Your Cords and Appliances In Good Condition
The state of your cords and appliances is one of the most common causes of electricity-related injuries. Worn or frayed cords are dangerous, even if the electricity is turned off. A worn or frayed cord can overheat, which can cause a fire. Make sure you keep your cords in good condition and replace them when they get too worn out.
The same goes for your appliances. If your appliances aren’t working as they should, they could cause a fire, shock or other type of injury. Cutting corners and buying cheap appliances is an easy way to get electrocuted!
Check Your Home’s Wiring and Outlets
To keep your home’s wiring in good condition and safe, you should have it checked out once every 10 years. If you live in a house that’s more than 10 years old, or if you’ve noticed that your wiring isn’t in good condition, get it checked out as soon as possible. You can have a home wiring inspection done by a licensed professional.
If any of the wiring is damaged, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. The same goes for your outlets. Outlets can become loose, which can lead to shocks and fires. If you notice they are getting wobbly, get them replaced immediately. You don’t want to be shocked or have your house catch fire.
Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
GFCIs are devices that you can use to protect yourself against electrocution and electrical fires. They are installed in your circuit breaker panel and protect you from electric shock by shutting off the current if the current flows into the ground.
These devices are recommended for use in areas where water is present to protect against shocks from faulty appliances or wiring. GFCIs are recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, garages and outdoor areas. They aren’t a must-have for every home, but they are a very good thing to have in your home.
Don’t Bend or Coil Your Wires
Bending or coiling your wires is a big no-no in the electrical safety world. It puts undue stress on the wires and can cause them to fray, which can lead to electrical fires. Make sure the wires are installed in a way that they aren’t bent or coiled, and keep them away from moisture and other things that could cause problems. Also, try to keep them a foot away from any flammable materials.
Use Quality Wiring and Equipment
The better the quality of your wiring and equipment, the less likely they are to cause an electrical fire. Look for UL-approved equipment, which is the mark of a quality product. Many of the hazards that come with electricity are due to the wiring in your home. Poor wiring can cause fires, shocking or electrocution. You can improve your safety by having your wiring checked by an electrician. If your wiring is outdated, you may need to have an electrician replace it.
Lock-in-place Extension Cords
If you use extension cords, make sure you use lock-in-place extension cords. They have an interlock that keeps the plug from being removed from the socket. This can help prevent accidental shocks. Also, make sure you use the correct gauge extension cord for the appliances you’re plugging in. If you’re not sure what gauge of extension cord you need, consult an electrical expert.
Stay Away From Water When Using Electrical Appliances
This should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re using an electrical appliance, such as a toaster, in an area that gets wet, you can get electrocuted. Stay away from water when using electrical appliances.
Check Cords and Batteries
Check your cords and batteries periodically to make sure they are in good condition. Damaged cords and batteries are a fire or shock hazard. If you see any cuts, nicks or other damage, replace the cords or batteries immediately. You should also replace any batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a year.
Keep any Flammable Materials Away From Your Outlets
Anything flammable, like your furniture, curtains or rugs, needs to be kept away from your outlets. You don’t want any fires, and it’s not safe for the items either. Keep your electrical items, like your computer and TV, away from flammable materials too. These hidden dangers with electricity can be avoided. Follow these tips, and you can keep yourself safe around electricity. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving electricity, there may be legal options available to you; contact us to discuss your situation.