That which we are used to can be easily taken advantage of. Electricity is something we tend to take for granted and we sometimes fail to appreciate the damage it can do when given free reign. While we are used to electricity in nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s also important to remember how to be safe and keep any danger out of the equation. Here are five electrical hazards found in most homes to keep an eye out for from Smith Electric & Associates.
1. Faulty Wiring
If you live in a home more than 50 years old, chances are someone who just wanted to get the job done did your wiring. To use the bathroom outlet, you might find yourself going to turn on the dining room light across the house. Too often we hear of outlets sparking or homes catching fire and the reason was traced back to faulty, crossed and outdated wiring. If you suspect there’s something shifty in any of your electrical wires, take precautions and have it checked. Any remodeling is also a great opportunity to check this. One wrong jolt can cause a domino effect across your house before it can be stopped.
2. Overloaded Outlets
As we enter the holiday season, this will become an even bigger problem. Think of Ralphie’s dad in the film “A Christmas Story,” who learned that the last strand of Christmas lights was capable of blowing out the whole house. Just because you can buy a plug from the store that lets you add six additional outlets to your wall doesn’t mean you should use them all. Be logical when plugging things in and if it seems like things are getting too crowded, then they probably already are. That much electricity surging to one place is like water beating against a dam. It will eventually run over and spread, causing shocks or fire.
3. Water Affected Areas
Water and electricity just don’t mix. While products have gotten safer over the years by adding protective layers and such, you still shouldn’t test nature. If you have any appliances or outlets that are near water sources, move them. If you have any plug that gets water splashed onto it, very carefully dry it off before getting it anywhere close to an electrical source again. All it takes is one spark to start an inferno. When water and electricity are mixed, a spark is inevitable.
4. Unprotected Outlets
If you have toddlers or small animals roaming your home, cover up all outlets. Most are at eye level and to a young kid, they look like the perfect place to stick a key or other small objects, which can cause electrocution. You can find simple covers at most stores and it can make a world of difference.
5. Unsafe Operation
If your dryer is smoking, it’s probably time to consider a new appliance. If the plug in the kitchen sparks every time you try to plug the toaster or coffee pot, chances are there’s something going on behind the outlet plate. Don’t continue to use appliances or outlets when there’s an obvious electrical problem. Continued usage will only wear down any bit of protection that’s still hanging on and before long you’ll have a dangerous situation on your hands.
Don’t be scared of electricity and its place in your home, but be smart as well. Take heed of these electrical hazards found in most homes and make sure your dwelling is safe. For any problems you do find, call Smith Electric and Associates in Mobile, Alabama. We are licensed to operate in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia and have been proudly serving the Gulf Coast since 1992. Call us for 24-hour emergency service at 251-471-4723! Visit us online at www.SmithElec.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!