Homeowners have a lot to remember in order to keep their home safe and comfortable. Did we pay the heating bill? Do we have emergency supplies? Is the basement safe from flooding? With so much to think about, it’s not uncommon for some things to get left behind.
One thing you should make a priority however is electrical dangers. You probably have a lot of electric devices throughout your home, and if not taken care of properly, they could result in some major problems. Here are just a few electrical dangers you should be on the lookout for.
Overloading an Outlet
The first danger you should be aware of is overloading an outlet. This typically happens when you plug two high energy draw items into the same outlet. Some examples of high energy draw items include refrigerators, space heaters, water heaters and dish washers.
If you’ve tried to plug two such devices into the same outlet, and you ran them both at the same time, you likely found that one of your breakers tripped inside your electrical panel. When this happens, it’s a sign that you have too much running on one outlet, so consider moving your devices to another location.
Broken or Worn Socket
The next danger you should look for is a broken outlet or socket. As time goes on, it’s not uncommon for these outlets to wear down. IF this happens, they become more hazardous, and could result in a fire. It’s a good idea to check the outlets around your home for signs of wear, and to replace them if you notice any issues. Look for signs of sparks when you plug something in, or any odd odors. If you do notice any problems, refrain from using the outlet until you can have it replaced.
Improper Outdoor Setup
Not all electrical dangers are reserved for inside. If you have any electrical equipment outside, it’s important that you take precautions. Maybe you’re running some outside lights, or you want to power up a speaker system for when you’re by the pool. Many power strips and extension cords are not designed to go outside however and bringing them there could spell danger.
Whenever you set something electrical up outside, make sure it’s safe to do so. The instruction manual or box the item came in should tell you if it’s safe to run outside. If you need to use a power strip or an extension core, make sure it’s one that can go outside. Finally, make sure all connections are sealed so that no water can find its way inside the wiring.
Daisy-Chained Power Strips
Power strips are an invaluable tool for many homes and businesses around the world. They allow us to connect multiple electrical devices into one outlet, providing us with the ability to power our gadgets, appliances and other equipment. However, power strips also come with a certain level of danger
One power strip misuse that can lead to problems is daisy chaining. This is when you plug one power strip into another, essentially giving yourself several more outlets. However, this practice is very dangerous. Power strips are not designed to handle this many components and doing so could result in overloading your power strip or your wall outlet. If you’re in a situation where your current power strip doesn’t have enough outlets, consider purchasing a bigger power strip, rather than plugging multiple into one another.
Finally, be on the lookout for frayed wires. Wires can become frayed over time, especially on items that we use a lot. You’ve probably gone through a few cell phone chargers because the wiring started to poke out. Exposed wiring is dangerous, especially on items that draw in a lot of current.
Every once in a while, take some time to inspect the wires on your major appliances and devices. Just give them a quick visual inspection to see if the wires look frayed anywhere. If they do, consider replacing the appliance or the wire. If you can’t do that, wrap the frayed part of the wire in electrical tapeto make it safer.
Don’t Neglect Your Electrical Devices
In a perfect world, you could simply plug in your electrical devices wherever you want and never have to worry about them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If not treated properly, electrical equipment could result in damage to your home. That’s why it’s so important that you not only know the potential dangers, but that you regularly look out for them.
Hopefully this guide was able to shed some light onto what to look for, and you’ll be able to go forward knowing your home is safe.