Electrical Accidents Top Accidents

Electrical Accidents

Electrical hazards can be prevented. Below are some safety tips in which to follow to ensure electrical accidents do not happen. Preventing an electrical accident is simple if you know what not to do. For example don’t blow dry your hair while taking a bath. There are many potentially dangerous activities that occur in a home which could be electrically hazardous for you and your home. We will be taking a look at some of the most common causes of electrical accidents and educate you on understanding just how dangerous electricity can be and how to use it safely.


Cords and Plugs

Did you know that according toe the National Fire Protection Association, electrical cords and plugs are responsible for the most civilian deaths related to electrical accidents each year! Yes just the cord, not electrocution or electric shock. Now that is shocking! This is the easiest hazard to avoid. Never use a cord that shows evidence of burning, melting, or has any other visible damage. If it damaged that means the cord has come loose from the plug, replace it. The whole thing. I’ve seen this so many times while entering homes, but never use a cord repaired with electrical tape. This is not safe and yes may save money in the short term but is very dangerous and costly in the long run.

Extension cords, power strips, and surge protectors are the biggest offenders. Don’t use extension cords for permanent hookups as I have stated in a previous article. Extension cords are a temporary fix not a long term fix. You should always try to conceal the cord in any way possible such as under carpeting. Always use the right cord for the job. For example if you need a 3-prong grounded cords usually are on all appliances. These appliances require the 3-prong because of the amount of electricity needed to run these appliances. Heavier-Gauge cords can handle more current than lighter-gauge cords.


Fixtures and Appliances

Surprising, maybe, but you can actually misuse lamps and light fixtures. For example using a 100-watt bulb in a 60-watt fixture can melt the wires which will create a shock and fire hazard. This happens all the time. So be sure you are using the correct wattage of light bulb in lamps and light fixtures. If an appliance sparks, smokes, buzzes, or emits a burning smell NEVER use it. This is very dangerous. Also this is kind of common sense fact but never use appliances while standing in water and ALWAYS unplug appliances before cleaning them.

House Wiring/Wiring Systems

Faulty wiring in a home is actually the second leading cause of electrical related house fires. Problems with household wiring systems range from overloaded circuits, damaged wires, loose connections on switches, outlets, or other devices. Improper installed circuit breakers could also be an issue in homes. See my article on the electrical circuit breaker panel here http://danielselectricsf.com/blog/2016/05/13/the-electrical-circuit-breaker-panel/ to find out more information on circuit breakers. The best way to prevent a wiring related electrical accident, because it is behind the scenes is to have your home inspected my a certified electrical inspector. Daniel’s Electric can look for the most common hazards and advise you about correcting the problems and how much the solution may cost. This is what we do!


Wet Areas

Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets are required in all bathrooms, kitchens, garages, outdoors and other potentially wet areas in or around the home. A Ground fault circuit interrupter is a device installed to protect against severe electric shocks. GFCI’s could also reduce electrocutions and minimize electrical burns and shock injuries. A GFCI integrates a ground fault protection in receptacles where electrical equipment is near water or might be in contact with water. If you do not have these in your home it is recommended that you have these installed as soon as possible. They do not require rewiring of any kind. GFCIs protect against a variety of common electrical accidents, including shock or fire from electrical current reaching water, faulty appliance and tool wiring and other ground-fault hazards.

Electricity is generally underrated. If you treat electricity with respect it is the best way to prevent electrical accidents. What I mean by this is actually follow the advice written on product manuals and on the little labels on the cords, appliances, fixtures and other devices. It also means never tampering with electrical equipment. Also don’t put off replacing an old or outdated device and the results could be deadly.


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