Electricity in our homes powers our appliances, electronics, lights, and heating and cooling system. The convenience comes with some risk, however. Loose wiring, damaged electrical cords, and overloaded outlets can lead to shock or even a house fire. Here are tips for electrical safety in the home to help protect your family and your belongings.

Electrical Safety Basics for Your Home

Don’t Overload Outlets

Outlets are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. To be safe, don’t plug more than one major appliance into a single outlet. If you notice warm outlets, crackling or sizzling, or discolored outlet covers, this could be due to an overload. Unplug electronics that aren’t currently in use.

Outlet extenders and surge protectors should be used with care. Both of these devices make it easy to plug too many devices into a single electrical outlet.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

Keep everything electrical away from water. Don’t use your cell phone in the bathtub. Take care when using the hairdryer near the sink. Dry your hands before plugging appliances or electronics into an outlet. Keep kitchen appliances away from the sink. Water conducts electricity and can cause electric shock and injury.

Air Circulation for Electrical Appliances

Allow plenty of room for airflow when installing electric appliances. It may look neat and tidy to enclose the coffee maker or microwave within a cabinet, but the appliance is more likely to overheat and malfunction.

Electrical Safety and Children in the Home

Kids are curious and will investigate anything that catches their attention. Electrical outlets are especially dangerous for children who try to stick toys or fingers in them. Prevent accidents by adding covers to electrical outlets as part of childproofing your home. These are available at any home improvement store and fit over the openings to protect small fingers.

Keep electrical cords out of the reach of children and don’t use extension cords when kids are around. They pose a tripping hazard, especially for toddlers who are just learning to walk.

Repair, Replace, Unplug

If you’re not using an appliance or electronic device, unplug it. This lowers utility costs and keeps everyone in your family safer. If you notice frayed or damaged cords, don’t use the appliance until you can have repairs made or purchase a new one.

House2Home Inspection Services offers home inspections to Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment.