In Los Angeles electrical service is something that we take for granted, we have built our day to day lives to utilise a wide range of appliances. We therefore may not consider how dangerous electricity can be if it is not correctly installed and maintained.
Electricity can cause serious injury and even death, it is estimated that there are 30,000 non fatal injuries caused per year in the United States by electricity. Although a much smaller number fatalities can also occur. In fact around 60 people per year die from electrocution in the United States.
If you were to factor in the injuries and fatalities as a result of electricity related home fires these statistics will be even higher!
The good news is that most of these can be prevented by using professional and licensed electricians and ensuring that electrical appliances are well maintained and serviced regularly.
Here are some easy to implement checks that you can put in place to protect you and your family in the home.
Check Electrical Cords For Damage
Damaged cords can expose the wiring which can then be a live electrical hazard. This should be avoided at all costs so make sure you check electrical cords before you use the appliance and replace if necessary.
Keep Electrical Cords Away From High Traffic Areas
It can be tempting to use extension cords to maximize the reach of your electrical sockets, particularly if they are in difficult to reach areas. However If you have cords crossing walkways then they could become damaged and cause an electrical hazard. They are also a trip hazard, and apart from the danger of a fall straining the cords can loosen the wires.
Damaged Extension Cords Should Be Replaced
Extension cords can get some rough treatment and become damaged. Whilst it can be tempting to try and patch up an extension cord with tape, this does not solve the problem. It is better to throw out the old cord and replace it with a new one.
Pull Out Plugs From The Socket By The Head Not The Cord
One of the main stresses on wiring can be when plugging or unplugging an appliance. If you pull out plugs from the wire then it can loosen the wires. The safest way is to use the plug head. This will also help your plug/wire last longer.
Ensure Sockets Near Water Have GFCI Protection
Water and electricity do not mix. Therefore you need to protect your home where there is potential they could come into contact. GFCI interrupters detect when there is potential for current to leak, therefore it is important to use them whenever there is potential of the appliance coming into contact with water. They should be tested regularly.
Child Proof Your Electrical Sockets.
When children are present outlets should be covered to ensure that children cannot put their small hands in the sockets. This can be done using tape temporarily or for those with children more permanent solutions and covers are available.
If In Doubt Call An Electrician
If your electrical sockets or circuit box is hot, smoking or emit a burning smell then do not take any risks and call an electrician immediately.
Unplug Your Electrical Devices During A Thunderstorm
Although you can buy surge protectors to protect your home and appliances these are not designed for the surge from a lightning bolt. Therefore it is safest to unplug all devices until the storm passes.
These are just a few tips that can help reduce the risk to your home and family from the dangers of electricity.
We hope you have found them useful, if you ever have any doubts about the safety of the electrical circuit wiring in your home give us a call.