Electricity is responsible for numerous fires and more than a thousand injuries each year. However, most of these accidents could be prevented through proper installation of electrical appliances and common sense steps.
Electrical Appliances Safety Tips
- Never use an appliance for purposes other than for what it was designed.
- If the cord on the appliance is damaged, have it replaced by a qualified electrician or discard the appliance altogether.
- Make sure that the appliance cords are kept away from heating elements and other hot surfaces.
One of the most common causes of electrical problems and fires are overloaded outlets. Outlets are designed to have two plugs in them. If you have a limited number of outlets and cannot have more installed, use surge protectors to safely add more plugs to an outlet. Even with a surge protector, you should never use more than one high wattage appliance in an outlet at one time. If the outlet becomes damaged, discolored or emits an odor when used have it replaced by an electrician.
The most reliable sign of a circuit overload or a short is that the fuse will blow or the circuit breaker will trip. If this happens, before you replace the fuse or reset the breaker, try to find out what caused the problem. The most common cause is too many appliances being used at one time. If you can’t find the problem or the circuit keeps overloading, contact a licensed electrician for assistance.
Electricity and Water Do Not Mix
The most common cause of electrical shocks in the home involves the use of an electrical appliance in or around water. Most new homes have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters installed to protect against this problem. You can recognize these plugs by the test and re-set buttons between the outlet holes. Although these are installed to offer safety from water-caused electrical shocks, they are not foolproof. Electrical yard equipment should be used only when the grass and ground are dry. The only exception is double-insulated snow blowers.
Power Lines Can Kill
Never touch a power line or allow anything you are using to come in contact with power lines. This includes ladders, tree trimming poles or tree branches. If you have underground power lines you must call and have them located for you before you dig into the yard. This includes planting trees or shrubs, building fences or play equipment, etc. You can call Dig Rite at 800.344.7483 to have the lines located.
For any more information on electricity safety you can call the Liberty Fire Department at 816.439.4310.