7 Home Electrical Hazards You Need To Know About

electrical hazards at home

We live in a world that relies tremendously on electricity. Our entire life and work revolve around electricity-powered appliances and devices, especially now, given the new circumstances. Working from home has made us even more dependent on the home’s electrical network and it has resurfaced the importance of ensuring safety from any electrical hazard.

Without realizing, you are exposed to different silent dangers which can cause significant losses, injuries, and even deaths. In fact, each year, approximately 1000 deaths are caused by electrical hazards of different types. Furthermore, 20% of all injuries caused by electrical hazards occur in toddlers and adolescents. 

An electrical hazard can cause serious injuries, which is why it is important to identify it correctly. Below, you can find the seven most dangerous electrical hazards that are often found in US homes. 

1. Defective or old wiring 

defective wiring as electrical hazard

This is usually the leading cause of electric shock. It has the potential to cause power surges, arc faults, or even electrical fires. This is why it’s essential that your home wiring conforms to safety standards and that you avoid doing any DIY electrical work. To keep your home and family safe and out of harm’s way, make sure you contact professional electricians to check the electrical wiring in your home. 

Wiring becomes an electrical hazard when you notice: 

  • loose connections like electrical switches or receptacles; 
  • worn-out extension cords or appliances;
  • pierced or pinched wire insulation;
  • overheated cords or wires; 
  • electrical wires that have been chewed up by rodents;
  • cracked wire insulation due to age, heat, or corrosion.

These are all signs of faulty wiring and chances are that you will need to have your home rewired, especially if it’s an older house that hasn’t had any wiring updates. 

2. Water

water as an electrical hazard

Elderly hand with electrical outlet spark at home

Water and electricity don’t make good companions. Issues like wet hands or outlets installed close to water are all hazards. Water is an electrical conductor and you need to be very careful when using appliances around it. To make sure you are not turning water into an electrical hazard, consider the following tips: 

  • in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as other areas that are close to water, install electrical outlets at a safe distance from water; 
  • avoid using the radio, hairdryer, or other appliances in the bath, near the pool, sink, or jacuzzi; 
  • make sure to dry your hands before picking up any appliance. 

3. Lightbulbs

light bulbs as electrical hazard

Lightbulbs are not an electrical hazard by themselves, but they can become one if not handled properly. Like all electricity sources, they can cause electric shocks. So, here is what you need to do to make sure that lightbulbs will not become a danger to your family or home: 

  • always turn off the light before replacing a light bulb;
  • choose the right wattage light bulb to prevent overheating; 
  • never replace a bulb with wet hands; 
  • keep lightbulbs away from flammable materials like beds, drapes, plastics, or upholstery.

4. Covered Electrical Cords & Wires

Electrical wires irradiate heat, and carpets as well as other coverings can be flammable. Even though it is not very common for covered electrical wires and cords to cause fires, it can happen. But it’s always best to be safe than sorry. So, here are a few tips you need to consider: 

  • never cover the cords and wires and keep them away from other items; 
  • make sure that items like televisions or computers have enough room for ventilation, thus preventing overheating. 

5. Extension Cords

extension cords as electrical hazard

Extension cords might not seem dangerous and they aren’t, as long as you consider extension cord safety rules. Extension cords are a tripping hazard and falling is yet another injury cause, so you need to be careful when using them. Here are a few things you need to consider: 

  • carefully fix extension cords in place to reduce tripping chances; 
  • make sure you are using plastic covers on unused receptacles; 
  • don’t turn extension cords into additional power outlets; 
  • avoid using too many devices at the same time; 
  • Check the cords for bends, damage, or fraying.

6. Curious Children 

An electric hazard can be very dangerous and it can cause serious injuries. It is very important to follow strict safety rules to make sure kids, who are extremely inquisitive, are not exposed to any dangers at home. 

Kids are constantly pulling appliances down from their cords or placing objects into receptacles, sometimes even their fingers. Of course, supervising them is crucial. However, there are other steps you can take in order to make sure you limit the risk: 

  • use plastic covers for every electrical outlet within the kids’ reach or tamper resistant receptacles, which are a better option;
  • ensure that appliance cords are tucked safely out of reach of children.

7. Pouring Water on Electrical Fires

One of the most common errors homeowners make is pouring water over an electrical fire. If an electrical fire starts for whatever reason, don’t try to use water, as this will only fuel the fire. 

It’s always a good idea to invest in a fire extinguisher and to keep it in a location that’s quickly and easily accessible. In case an electrical fire occurs, use the fire extinguisher to put it out.

Safety Rules You Need to Remember

Electricity is vital for the modern lifestyle and respecting a few safety guidelines will help you avoid turning it into a hazard, putting your home and family at risk. Here are a few, most important rules to remember:

  • avoid making DIY electrical work and always contact an electrician to help you fix electrical problems; 
  • regularly check your appliances and wiring to make sure there aren’t any faults; 
  • always dry your hands before handling electrical appliances;
  • avoid using devices in the tub, shower, or near the pool area; 
  • before cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, or laundry room, make sure that all appliances are turned off.

A Simple Electrical Upgrade Can Upgrade Your Quality of Life

The right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance of any home or business. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can make for your home or business. Make sure that when you select an electrical company to do the enhancement of your home and you have decided to take your enhancement to the level where you require an electrical upgrade that the technician at the company has a good working knowledge and the experience to properly guide you in this area.

When you decide to upgrade, our well-trained and certified electricians have all the experience and training needed to complete your electrical panel upgrade project from start to finish, with a minimum of fuss or disturbance. Please contact us right away at 310-800-2401

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