We all have types of appliances running in our homes, from air conditioners to lighting, refrigerators, and device chargers. With high levels of consumption, it is necessary to manage the power to keep ourselves safe from any electrical accidents. Following are a few basic steps which can keep you safe from dangerous electrical accidents.
No matter how big or small, every appliance has a wattage rating. This rating depicts the amount of power the appliance draws. A high wattage device will often draw more current and use more electricity than a lower-rated one. For instance, a phone charger will use approximately 3-6 watts of power when charging your device. However, a hairdryer running at full power can draw up to 1800 watts of power.
Why is Wattage Important?
The power outlets around your home have a maximum power rating. Trying to draw more power than the outlet is designed for can cause the wires to heat up and melt the insulation on them. In most cases, the circuit breaker will trip, but in the case of a faulty circuit breaker, the highly heated wires can start a fire.
How to Keep Your Home Safe from Electrical Hazards
In addition to using high-powered devices on the wrong outlets, other factors can contribute to electrical accidents and burnouts. They are faulty wires, improperly installed fixtures, and even lamps and power supplies.
Here are a few tips you can use to safeguard your home from electrical hazards.
Know the Wattage
The power outlets are rated for maximum power; even lamps and light fixtures have a maximum load capacity that they can handle. Going beyond the rated wattage on lamps can cause the wiring to overheat.
It is essential to use the correct bulbs according to the wattages listed on the lamps. For unmarked lamps, the lower the wattage, the better. Do not use anything higher than 60 watts on unmarked lamps as a general rule of thumb.
Do Not Overload an Outlet
With so many appliances and devices in our homes, almost everyone requires a power strip. But it is important to remember that power strips only add more outlets and do not increase the power capacity of the outlet.
Power strips are not suited to heavy appliances, as they can cause damage to the power strip and the appliance. It is also advisable to only use one heating appliance on one outlet at a time. This means that you should not connect an iron and a hairdryer to a single outlet and use them simultaneously.
It is also essential to frequently check for overheating outlets. If you experience a hot outlet, immediately remove the plug from the socket and allow it to cool for some time. It is best to get heating outlets checked by licensed electricians.
Consider investing in a smart plug, which shows you the exact power drawn from the outlet by all the appliances connected to it. These plugs can even cut the power supply if they notice an abnormal rise in power.
Repair Damaged Wires
Damaged wires around the house are a serious safety threat. Not only do they pose a risk of an electric fire, but they can also be caused electrocution. If you use power strips or extension cords, make sure to inspect them frequently for any damages such as cracks or other frayed areas, and make replacements accordingly.
Please do not hide power cords under furniture and rugs. With rugs, they can pose a tripping hazard, and in case they overheat, you will not be able to know because of the rug. While cords running under furniture have can be damaged by the heavyweight.
Always read the ratings on a power cord when buying one. A 16 AWG cable can handle up to 1,375 watts. If you need to run a heavier load, you can use a 12 or 14 AWG power cord.
Unplug Unused Devices
It might seem convenient to leave all your devices plugged in at times. But it is best to make a habit of unplugging any devices that are not being used. This method will save on your electricity bill and keep the appliances protected from power surges or overheating.
It can take a little time to get used to, but your appliances will thank you if you build this habit.
Last Few Words
When it comes to electrical hazards, prevention is always better than cure. You must keep a keen eye out for any potential electrical hazards in your home and address them as soon as possible. Many things can go by the motto, “if it is not broken, do not fix it,” electrical wires and hazards are not one of them.
If you have any electrical issues in your home, Golden Electrical Service will be happy to assist you in keeping your home safe from electrical hazards. Our team of licensed electricians will be more than happy to guide you to the best and most cost-effective electrical solutions. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.