While most people understand the dangers with electricity, it is easy to forget or simply take it for granted. Many power accidents are avoidable, and the following electrical safety tips for homeowners will keep everyone safe.
- Check that power tools have an undamaged cord and are plugged into a proper grounded source. In addition, ensure that appliances, such as toasters and microwave ovens, are unplugged before beginning repair work. In many cases, it is better to have an expert perform the repair work.
- Do not overload power strips. While useful, power strips are not meant to provide electricity to an entire household of appliances and devices. It is safer to place one to two strips in each room of the house to distribute load evenly.
- Investigate flickering lights. When lights flicker or turn off and on randomly, it can be a sign of loose wiring or the need to replace switches. Lighting terminations should be tight and grounded.
- Check outlets regularly. Power outlets can become a fire hazard if they are overloaded. Using a space heater also brings the risk of fire. A standard 120v outlet should never power more than two devices.
- Have appliances professionally inspected. Many cases of electrical shock or fire occur when homeowners attempt to repair appliances or related power issues without help. A professional electrician should be consulted.
- Do not attempt to move a fallen power line. Electrical lines can fall due to weather events and are often still live when they reach the ground. Under no circumstances should a homeowner approach a fallen line. Always call the power company or an electrician.
- Older homes require inspection. If a home was built more than 40 years ago like many in West Chester and surrounding areas, it may have an outdated electrical panel, and the wiring may be brittle or cracked. A home is a very large investment, and an electrical inspection is one way to protect it.
- Take a course on home electrical safety. This is a great way for homeowners to get educated on home improvement and safety and make the proper decisions when it comes to electricity.
One of the best electrical safety tips for homeowners is to call an electrician for advice and to schedule a home appointment when problems arise.
You may also want to check our “Keeping Family Safe” ™ checklist for additional tips on keeping your home safe.