What Are Some Dangerous Electrical Elements In The Home?

What are some dangerous electrical elements in the home? There are several electrical elements that can cause fire or electrocution in the home. Safety around the home has always been one of the most important...

Safety around the home has always been one of the most important details for homeowners to consider. All the time, we read about tips for homeowners and parents on ways to help keep their family safe around the house.


Some of the most notable safety tips include keeping sharp objects out of reach of children, keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and keeping windows and doors locked whenever possible. These are just a few of the tips that can help homeowners to keep their families safe at all times.




But one area that sometimes gets mixed up in the shuffle is electrical safety in the home. Most times, when a homeowner thinks about electrical safety, they think about putting plugs over the outlet so that children won't stick any objects into them and risk electrocution. But as technology continues to grow and more and more items around the house are becoming electric-dependent, electrical safety goes deeper than just outlets in the hallway.

Michael G. Clendenin is the executive director for the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). ESFI is North America's only non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion of electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. He has created a catalog of electrical safety resources, issuing safety tips through publications, media relations, and their website. He currently acts as the spokesperson for the ESFI and the electrical industry on matters of electrical safety awareness. Clendenin says that electrical safety in a home all begins with information.

"To avoid electrical accidents in your home, you should be informed on what to look out for," he says. "Overloaded outlets and circuits, misused extension cords, and cracked, frayed, or damaged electrical cords are some common household electrical hazards."

One of the most overlooked areas in electrical safety deals with outlets. Now days, if your television isn't hooked up to your DVD player, Tivo system, VCR, and the entertainment center, then you're basically living in the stone age. But having all these accessories hooked up to one outlet can be a problem. Clendenin says that homeowners should be on the look out for this problem.

"Consumers are encouraged to become familiar with the limitations and capacity of the various circuits in the home and the level of demand being placed on each," he says. "As well, consumers are reminded that extension cords are for temporary use only, and should be unplugged and safely stored after every use. Finally, take any electrical appliance or item with a frayed, cracked, or damaged cord to be repaired at an authorized repair center. Or, cut the cord and dispose of the item so that no one else can scavenge the dangerous and defective item, taking the hazard home with them."

"Other ways to protect your home include checking outlets and extension cords to make sure they aren't overloaded," Clendenin advises. "Examine electrical cords to make sure they aren't frayed damaged or placed under rugs or carpets. Make sure that the proper wattage light bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps and consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), especially in the bathroom."

"One of the most important precautions consumers can take is to test their smoke detectors and to replace smoke detector batteries annually," he adds. "Consumers should always follow appropriate safety precautions and manufacturer's instructions."

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