Outside of kitchen accidents, one of the most common causes of house fires is electrical issues. Electrical fires can start in a split second and are often hidden behind drywall or in the ceiling. Because they are sometimes hard to detect, they can cause tremendous damage before being extinguished. Electrical safety is important in every home. Here are some tips to maintain safe practices every day?

Electrical Safety: Never DIY Electrical Problems in Your Home

Electricity is extremely dangerous. Never try to complete wiring or other electrical tasks on your own. When you had your home inspected during the purchasing process, your home inspector verified that the wiring was in good condition and that the electrical systems were properly installed. Trying to repair things or modify things without the help of a professional can lead to the need for major repairs, injury, or even a house fire.

Plug Major Appliances Directly Into Their Own Outlets

To promote electrical safety in the home, plug each major appliance into a wall outlet. Never plug space heaters, microwaves, refrigerators, washers, air conditioners, or other appliances into a power strip or extension cord. Doing so can lead to a serious fire hazard, blown fuses, and the overheating of the power strip.

Rely on GFCI Outlets for Increased Electrical Safety

GFCI outlets are designed to lower the risk of shock by immediately turning off the electrical circuit if there is a risk. These outlets are commonly used in areas of the home where moisture is found, like the bathroom and kitchen. Electricians also recommend that you have GFCI outlets installed on any exterior receptacles and in the garage and basement.

Extension Cords Are Not for Regular Use

Don’t rely on extension cords for everyday use; they are only designed to provide temporary access to electricity. When using an extension cord, don’t run it underneath a rug, across doorways, or anywhere someone could trip over it. If you find yourself needing extension cords on a daily basis, look into having new outlets installed by a professional electrician to boost electrical safety in your home.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Electrical safety issues that lead to house fires can sometimes be detected before the fire occurs. Contact a trusted electrician if you notice any of the following problems in your home.

-wall outlets that are warm to the touch
-flickering or dimming lights
-sparks when plugging in or unplugging devices
-problems with frequently blowing fuses or tripping the circuit breakers
-burning smells coming from outlets or appliances

Practice these tips for electrical safety to keep your family and your home safe from danger. Call a professional electrician at the first sign of problems.

HomeAdvocate provides home inspection and testing services to help keep your home healthy and safe. Contact us to schedule our services in the Greater Charlotte area.