Electrical safety at home is a really huge deal. It is so important, particularly if you have young children or pets. Not only can promoting the concept help to keep your outlets and appliances all working properly, it can also save your family from a complete disaster as a result of a fire in your home. Electrician Northcote has the tools and expertise to tackle such situations.

In all rooms, to limit your exposure to potential electrical safety hazards, there are some things that you need to check out to make sure that all your electric-powered appliances and devices are in safe functioning condition. Make sure to check each light fixture in every room, including lamps, to ensure that all bulbs are using the appropriate wattage. If you aren’t for sure what bulb is best for your fixture, always go with a bulb that is 60 watts or less. Anything over 60 watts that isn’t fit for your fixture could cause it to overheat. Lamps are always rated for maximum wattage. Some older lamps may have the rating missing or, perhaps, illegible.

Also in the colder weather, check any portable electric heaters to make sure they are tested and certified by nationally recognized laboratory affiliations (like UL). Make sure that your heater is in a safe place, at least three feet away from something that could potentially catch fire and also in a place where it won’t topple over. Ensure that all heaters are in working order and aren’t emitting any sparks or weird smells when they are in use.

Be sure to check all electrical cords to make sure they aren’t frayed, won’t get stepped on, aren’t wrapped around something or near an area that could get wet or spilled on. If a cord is placed behind a piece of furniture, make sure that air can circulate around them in case of a potential overheating. Ensure that your outlets aren’t overloaded with multiple cords and adapters.

To ensure electrical safety at home, any unused outlets should be covered with plastic outlet covers, especially if you have children that could somehow get their fingers (or hairpins) in the socket. All of your wall outlets and light switches should be covered with trim plates. This serves to keep exposed wiring covered. Make sure all outlets and switches are working properly. If not, call in an electrician to take care of the problem. If you have something plugged in to the outlet, make sure it fits snugly, otherwise, have the outlet replaced as soon as possible.

In your kitchen, make sure that all table top appliances are unplugged when not in use. Also make sure that any of the table top appliance cords aren’t in a spot where they could get hot or are near a stove or burner. Ensure that the cords of your appliances are also not in places where they could get wet. As for your larger appliances, this includes your washer and dryer, hopefully when you’ve used them, you’ve never felt a slight shock. If so, turn off electricity that provides power to that appliance until an electrician can check it out. This is an indication that there is some faulty wiring somewhere in the grounding circuit.

In your bathroom, ensure that all hair styling appliances are unplugged when not in use. It can be easy to forget whether or not you have turned off a curling iron or hair straightener. It’s worth a trip back to the house to check on it. (This goes for your clothes iron, too.)

If you use an electric blanket, these can also be a fire hazard if not properly utilized or taken care of. Make sure that there aren’t any dark charred spots on the blanket and also make sure that all cords and connectors are working properly. When using an electric blanket, put it on top and don’t let anything else sit on top of it. Also if laid out on the bed, make sure it lays flat. Never fold up an electric blanket that is in use.

Also, always check your fuse boxes or circuit breaker boxes. Make sure fuses or breakers are the appropriate sizes for the circuit. If unsure, consult a qualified electrician. Circuit breaker or fuse ratings are determined by the circuit wire size.

Always check for residual heat build-up at breakers or fuses and at receptacles, switches and power cords (including extension leads). The presence of heat indicates a load that is at or near the capacity of the circuit or device. “Warm” to touch might be normal if a load is on the circuit or device–and may be no reason for concern. “Very warm” or “Hot” to touch is not normal, nor is it safe. Reduce the load (or switch the circuit off) and seek the advice of a qualified electrician. Do not ignore the build-up of residual heat in a circuit. To do so would be to subject your life and property to the possibility of a fire. Electrical anomalies, if not promptly attended to are “Life Safety” issues and are not to be taken lightly.

These tips are a good summary of things that you can do to be confident that you are maintaining electrical safety at your home on a daily or occasional basis. If things work properly, you are in good shape and can prevent potential hazards and keep your family and home out of harm’s way.

Christensen runs a home and garden blog in order to give back something to those new homeowners and renters who would like to know how to maintain their homes -in honor of those who showed him when he was starting out.

For further information, be sure to visit Electrical Safety at Home. You can find other Home Maintenance topics at Home and Garden 911 – check it out today, if you can.

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Electrical Safety at Home