There are many potential electrical hazards around your home you may not be aware of. Keep your family safe by learning about and watching for these risks so you can deal with them in a safe and timely manner.

Faulty Cords

Regularly check the cords and wiring in your home. If they are worn or damaged, stop using them immediately. It can be tempting to prolong the life of these cords regardless of their condition, but damaged cords and wiring can lead to electrical shocks and fires.

Some tips to prevent faulty cords include:

  • Always pull out cords by the plug.
  • Keep cords out of reach of pets and children.
  • Keep cords away from heat sources and water.

Lightbulbs with the Wrong Wattage

Lightbulbs are not one-size-fits-all and can cause severe electrical hazards. When replacing a light bulb, it is critical to select the proper wattage. The wattage information is typically listed somewhere on the fixture.

Ensure the wattage of the replacement light bulb is less than or equal to the maximum wattage of the light fixture. Using a light bulb that exceeds the allowable wattage can cause overheating and potentially melt the light socket and insulation of wires. This can put you at risk of arc faults, leading to property fires.

Extension Cords

Extension cords come in handy when you need to extend the reach of a wire or when there is a lack of outlets in a space. However, they should not be used in place of a permanent outlet. When neglected, extension cords can be hazardous items in your home.

Ensure that certified extension cords are not covered to avoid a potential fire. Also, keep extension cords away from heat sources and water to prevent electric shock. If you need to use an extension cord outdoors, purchase a cord rated for outdoor use.

Other Potential Risks

  • Dirty refrigerator coils: Vacuum refrigerator coils at least once every three months to avoid electrical fires.
  • Washing machines and dryers: If these appliances frequently move or vibrate, it could lead to loose wiring resulting in electrical shocks.
  • Overloaded outlets: You should only have one plug per socket in each outlet. Unplug any appliances you are not using.
  • Damaged light switches: If a light switch emits heat or makes a buzzing sound, cut off power for that circuit immediately and call a Licensed Electrical Contractor to inspect the switch.