As a homeowner, don’t overlook electrical safety. Every year there are thousands of reports of house fires caused by electrical malfunctions. To avoid danger, stay informed on best practices for electrical safety. Here are a few home electrical safety tips to protect your family and prevent accidents.

1. Electrical Safety: Inspect Cords

Check all cords before using any electrical appliances or devices. Look for any frayed wires, broken plugs, or other signs of wear and tear that could lead to an electrical shock or fire. If you cannot replace the cord, purchase a new device.

2. Unplug Devices and Appliances to Improve Electrical Safety

Unplug any electrical appliance when not in use. Leaving an appliance plugged in can still draw power from the outlet even if a device is off. Because electricity is still flowing, this could start a fire if the device or outlet is damaged or overheats.

3. Install GFCIs

Install GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets in areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms, basements, mudrooms, and kitchens. These outlets help protect users from electric shocks by quickly shutting off power when a hazardous current flow is detected.

4. Safe Use of Extension Cords

Extension cords are convenient for powering devices that may not be near an electrical outlet; however, improper use can lead to serious damage to your device or personal injury. Here are some tips for electrical safety in the home when working with extension cords:

-Check the cord’s rating before plugging it into a wall socket.
-Use only extension cords labeled with the appropriate amperage and wattage requirements for your device or appliance.
-Never connect two extension cords, as this can result in overheating; if you require extra length, opt for one longer cord instead.
-Verify the extension cord is in good condition with no signs of damage before using it.

5. Protect Children

Keep children safe around electrical outlets. Use outlet covers to prevent small children from inserting fingers or toys into the outlets. Rearrange the furniture to hide outlets from curious kids. Remove extension cords, especially those that may pose a tripping hazard. Never allow kids to play with electrical cords, and teach them about the dangers of electricity.

Following these simple tips for electrical safety in the home helps ensure your family remains safe and secure while using appliances and devices around your house. Always consult a qualified electrician if something needs repair or replacement; never attempt to do it yourself.

360 Home Inspections offers inspection services to homebuyers and sellers throughout Northern New Jersey. Contact us to request an appointment.

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