Sensing something wrong in one or more electrical circuits at home? It’s time you took the issue seriously.
After all, you never know when a faulty connection will suddenly cause an electrical hazard. That’s why it’s essential to take specific preventive measures to rule out such possibilities.
And to help you develop a clear idea about such steps, we’ve curated this simplified guide on the topic. So, let’s get going.
HOW TO PREVENT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS?
First of all, let’s look at the different types of electrical hazards and the scenarios that can lead to such consequences. That way, you’ll better understand the various precautions you need to take to prevent such hazards.
THE TYPES OF ELECTRICAL HAZARDS
Electrical fires and shocks are the two primary hazards associated with improper use of electricity on any property.
1. Electrical Fire
Sparks generated from electrical appliances or equipment can ignite explosive/flammable vapours or materials prone to combustion. Also, toxic or flammable materials might be released due to any chemical burning or when a freezer starts dysfunctioning.
2. Electrical Shock
An individual gets an electrical shock when the body comes in contact with the wiring in an electrical circuit or an electrically energised metallic part. The severity of the shock will depend on the amount of electric current, its pathway through the body, the duration of exposure, and the moisture content of the skin.
WHEN CAN A HAZARD OCCUR?
Electrocution is among the most widely faced hazards across the country. It can occur in many situations when individuals aren’t alert about an issue in the power supply system.
Here are the most common scenarios that can lead to an electrical hazard:
1. Damaged Equipment And Tools
It’s a common tendency among many people to try and fix the problem on their own irrespective of whether it’s a minor or major issue. But ideally, you shouldn’t conduct any repairs unless you have the skill and expertise, as that might cause an electric shock, putting your safety at stake.
So, make sure to get in touch with a reliable electrical repair and installation service that can detect the fault efficiently and provide a safe solution.
2. Exposed Electrical Parts
Exposed parts of electrical fixtures include loose, exposed, or frayed cables and wiring of older appliances. Such anomalies are difficult to spot but make the residents prone to potential burns and shocks.
3. Inefficient Grounding
Inappropriate grounding of electrical appliances and other important equipment is one of the major reasons behind an electrical hazard. Often the ceiling lights and metal switchboards can be inefficiently grounded. So, if you happen to touch such uninsulated fixtures, you become prone to an electric shock.
4. Wet Conditions
Operating any equipment or fixture in wet surroundings increases the chances of an electric shock, especially if it includes damaged insulation.
5. Overloaded Circuits And Inadequate Wiring
Applying wires of the wrong size for a circuit may cause overheating and even electrical fires. Plus, the lack of circuit breakers at the right spots can overload a power outlet.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS?
Following are the most effective ways to prevent an electrical hazard in your home:
1. Check Your Appliances Regularly
If you find an appliance tripping a circuit breaker repeatedly, blowing a fuse, or producing minor shocks several times, it indicates the unit needs an examination. The first step to take in such situations is to unplug the device immediately and cease using it till an electrician inspects the issue.
2. Use Appropriate Fuses And Circuit Breakers
As mentioned earlier, circuit breakers and fuses of inappropriate size increase the likelihood of hazards, so be careful when you’re buying replacements. In case you aren’t sure of the right size, it’s best to have the panel box checked by a professional and label it with the correct size needed.
3. Use Outlet Covers
Using outlet covers can safeguard small kids and babies from touching the outlets with their fingers or other objects. Note that covers are available in the form of plug-in attachments and child-safety wall plates featuring retractable covers that snap back when the outlets aren’t being used.
4. Replace Faulty Or Missing Wall Plates
Wall plates aren’t fixed just to enhance the look of your walls — they protect the fingers from coming in contact with the wiring beneath them. As such, a wall plate that’s broken or is missing altogether poses the risk of shocks when you’re trying to identify a switch by touch. That’s why it’s best not to delay replacing a faulty plate or adding one where it’s missing.
5. Install Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
A GFCI receptacle can be installed where electrical outlets are fixed near water sources or wet surroundings. It helps detect power leakages in a circuit, like those occurring when powered devices come in contact with water.
In such situations, the GFCI will cease the power supply to that receptacle almost instantly, thereby preventing burns, electrical shocks, and electrocution.
6. Avoid Outlet-Stretching Devices
FIxtures such as cube taps allow users to plug different appliances into one power outlet. While this might apparently seem quite convenient, such devices can actually quicken circuit overload and even overheat the wiring.
So, you’ll have to find the maximum power that the cube tap can handle. The next step will be to ensure the collective power requirement of the appliances you’re using with it isn’t greater than that rating.
So, that was all about electrical hazards and how you can prevent them efficiently.
Now that you know where to check, start locating the vulnerable spots in your home and take the appropriate steps to avert any undesirable situation. And if you’re confident about repairing any minor electrical fault on your own, make sure to wear appropriate protective gear such as rubber gloves.
See you next time!