Electricity is arguably one of the most essential science inventions of all time. From water heaters to our bedroom dimmer lights – without electricity, we will not be able to enjoy the many things we do today.
It is important, however, that we remember that while electricity can be our best friend, it can also cause harm ranging from injuries and damages to properties. That said, staying safe must always be our priority whenever we deal with electricity.
Stay Safe! Practical Tips To Keep You Safe Around Electricity
Many electrical accidents and injuries could have been prevented and avoided by observing electrical safety practices. Protect your family and home, stay safe around electricity by following the do’s and don’ts listed below.
- Make sure your wirings and electrical cords are tucked away neat and tidy. Messy and tangled electrical wires aren’t only electrical hazards as they can be a tripping hazard too. If you have pets around, they may also chew on them. A simple twist tie to organize your electric cords should make a quick work of the unsightly wires.
- Turn off electrical appliances and unplug them from the outlet when you are not using them. This is to avoid damages from power surges. Besides, most devices still consume electricity even when they are turned off.
- When removing an appliance from the power outlet, be sure to hold the plug, not the cord. Don’t yank power cords from the wall when unplugging them and keep wires and cables tidy to avoid damaging them.
- Contact a qualified electrician for any works, repair, or home upgrades that involve electricity. To avoid the risk of electrocution or electrical fires, be sure to hire an electrician to perform any electrical works instead of attempting to do stuff on your own.
- Keep any metallic objects well away from electrical sources. Metals are good conductors of electricity, and electrical current can travel through them easily when you place them near power sources.
- Install GCFIs or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These specialized electrical outlets offer more protection from electrical shocks than a conventional outlet does. Use them in potentially hazardous areas such as near kitchens, bathrooms, and pools.
- Use extension cords as a temporary solution only and minimize using them whenever possible.
- Always read and follow appliance instruction manuals.
- Use the correct wattages for your appliances and never plug high-energy consuming appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators into extension cords.
- Make sure that you unplug appliances from the power source before cleaning them.
- Do not touch electrical switches and outlets or operate appliances when your hands are wet.
- Do not place electrical appliances near water or wet areas.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Plug only one high-wattage device, such as refrigerator or toaster, into an outlet at a time.
- Don’t ignore signs of wear and tear and damages to electrical cords, outlets, and switches. Inspect electrical cables regularly for frays or cracks and have an electrician check them if you notice any issues immediately.
- Do not place cords beneath rugs and carpets where they can become trip hazards or where damages won’t be easily noticeable.
- Do not force a three-prong plug to go into a two-receptacle electrical socket.
Dealing With Electrical Safety When You Have Kids Around
Young children are naturally curious and may have little to no knowledge about the dangers of electricity. Teaching your kids the basics about electricity and its associated hazards in a way that’s easy for them to understand is vital for their safety. Here are a few tips on how to keep your children safe around electricity.
- Talk to your children about the risks associated with electricity. These days there are a lot of educational games that you can use to teach children valuable lessons about electricity.
- Put safety caps or covers on electrical outlets to prevent kids from inserting any objects or even sticking their fingers on them.
- Do not leave your electrical appliances switched on unattended around children.
- Store your gadgets and appliances away from children’s reach.
- Do not allow children to play near electrical appliances and outlets.
- Watch out for power lines that may be hanging too low where kids can reach and play with them.
- Remember to walk the talk by setting an example to your children in following proper electrical safety practices yourself.
Staying Safe Around Electricity Should Be Everybody’s Business
Staying safe around electricity at home starts with adhering to safety rules and practices and ensuring that everyone in the household, especially the young children, have a basic knowledge and understanding of electrical safety guidelines.
Never attempt doing electrical repairs or rewirings if you don’t have proper experience and training. Lastly, it is recommended that you have a qualified technician conduct a routine check or maintenance to your home electrical wiring system annually or at least once every three years. Regular maintenance can go a long way to promoting electrical safety in your home.