Electricity allows you to light and heat your home, access entertainment, and prepare a warm meal. It’s a modern convenience, but it also comes with risks. Electrical injuries and electrical fires happen in homes across the country. It’s important to understand how electricity works and be aware of the hazards that accompany it. Here are five tips for electrical safety in the home.

1. Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

One of the most common causes of electrical problems is overloaded electrical outlets. Check all outlets to make sure they have a protective faceplate, are cool to the touch, and that they are in proper working order.

Outlets are designed to deliver a specific amount of electricity, so when you plug multiple devices into the same outlet, you increase your risk of fire. If you have several electronics to plug in, power them with separate circuits or use a protective power strip.

2. Avoid Water

Water is a conductor for electricity, so this combination can cause serious, even fatal, injuries. Keep electrical devices dry and away from any water source. With electrical appliances, such as a coffee maker, always be careful not to splash water on or near the electrical outlet. When plugging in or unplugging appliances, make sure your hands are thoroughly dry.

3. Childproof Covers are Great for Electrical Safety in the Home

If you have babies and small children in the house, know that they are naturally curious. Use tamper-resistant safety covers on electrical outlets. Make sure extension cords are not a tripping hazard. Electrical cords should be kept out of the reach of children.

4. Allow for Proper Air Circulation

All appliances should have sufficient space around them for air to circulate. Without sufficient airflow, appliances can overheat and become a fire hazard.

Don’t operate electrical appliances if they are enclosed in a cabinet. For instance, DVD players, internet routers, and cable boxes should be stored in the open to prevent overheating. Make sure that your clothes dryer is at least one foot away from walls to prevent overheating.

5. Electrical Safety in the Home Helps You Avoid Shock

One of the most common causes of electrical shocks is touching exposed wires. Do not use any appliance that has a frayed power cord or exposed electrical wires. Damaged wiring should be replaced or repaired rather than wrapping the exposed area with electrical tape.

Before using new appliances read the instructions. Understand how to properly operate home appliances to help protect you from electrical injuries. If you feel a shock when plugging in or unplugging any device, stop using the item and call an electrician to troubleshoot the issue.

Inspector Ed provides professional home inspections in the New York City area. Contact us to schedule our services.