Each year in the US there are around 51,000 home electrical fires.
The electrical devices in your home make life easier but they need care and maintenance. If you don’t treat them with respect they can switch from life-savers to life-takers in the blink of an eye. But it’s easy to get complacent and forget about electrical safety in the home.
That’s where we can help! Keep reading for these top electrical safety tips and solutions for your home.
Don’t Forget to Cut the Power
One of the most important electrical safety tips is always to cut the power before dealing with an issue. Before you start work, switch off the breaker and test the outlet, switch, or fixture.
A socket tester is one of the best electrical safety devices you can keep in your home. Plug something in, press the switch and use it to test the circuit.
Discharging a Capacitor
Capacitors store a charge and release it to other components when they need it. They’re able to hold onto that charge for a very long time, especially if there is no “bleeder” resistor. Here’s how to discharge a capacitor:
- Disconnect the capacitor and its circuit from the power source
- Find the capacitor(s) on its circuit board
- Turn over the circuit board to get access to the terminals
- Connect your resistive load leads to the terminals
- Give it time to discharge
- Use your multimeter and put it on the highest voltmeter setting
- Connect the multimeter probes to the terminals
- Check the voltage reading you get back is 0V or close to it
- If it isn’t, repeat steps 4-8
Why do you need to discharge them?
If you make contact with a terminal of a charged capacitor, that electricity can go through you. It can even travel short distances if you’re close enough. At best, you’ll feel a slight tingle, at worst, it could kill you.
Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupters will shut off if it detects any current diversions. This can occur due to a short circuit or insulation issue.
This will help prevent shocks and protects against electrical fault fires. Make sure GFCI devices are in any kitchens and bathrooms in your home, as a priority.
Spread Out Your Outlet Usage
It’s easy to get complacent and plug a few devices into the most convenient outlet. But this isn’t a safe solution. It’s better to spread small appliances and devices across several outlets.
This prevents a single one from getting overloaded which can cause an electrical fire. Another option is to call in an electrician and get them to install more outlets in that convenient spot.
Use Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters
Arc faults are one of the biggest causes of home electrical fires. Having arc-fault circuit interrupters helps prevent these fires from happening. As part of an electrical safety inspection, have a qualified electrician install them.
Keeping Your Home Safe While Using Electrical Devices
To keep your home safe while using electrical devices, don’t cram chargers into one outlet. Also, make sure your interrupters are in working order with an electrical inspection. It never hurts to get a professional opinion, especially on matters of safety.
If you found this article useful, check out our blog for more home tips and tricks.