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Did you know that many home fires are caused by faulty electrical systems? Use these residential electrical safety tips to keep your electrical system in good shape and reduce fire hazards.

Residential Electrical Safety Tips for Correct Wattage

Use the proper wattage in all appliances and fixtures because incorrect bulbs may cause issues. If your home has ceiling fixtures without the wattage listed, use a 25-watt bulb to be safe.

Don’t Overload Outlets

Check all the outlets to see if any are hot to the touch. Make sure that each outlet works correctly and has a protective faceplate. Here are some residential electrical safety tips relating to outlets:

  • Don’t plug two heat-producing appliances into the same outlet.
  • Don’t use extension cords with appliances.
  • Don’t overload an outlet by plugging too many plugs into one power strip.
  • Call an electrician if any of your outlets feel hot.

Replace Any Damaged Electrical Cords

Look at any extension or power cords you’re using in the home. Replace or repair any cords that show signs of cracking or fraying. Don’t run extension cords underneath furniture or rugs. Furniture might crush the cords and cause damage. Walking over electrical cords also wears them out.

Unplug Appliances

You’ll save energy by keeping appliances unplugged when they’re not in use. This reduces phantom drains, which is when energy is drawn from plugged in appliances even when they’re not active. Unplugged appliances remain safe from power surges and overheating. 

Residential Electrical Safety Tips Around Water

Never allow any type of electrical equipment to become wet. Are there any potential electrical hazards in your kitchen or bathrooms? Check these spaces to make sure there aren’t any appliances near sinks, showers, or bathtubs. Always operate electrical equipment with dry hands. 

Keep Exhaust Fans Clean

Many appliances use exhaust fans and can become electrical hazards when the fans get clogged or dirty. The appliances are susceptible to overheating because they have to work harder when clogged with dirt. Inspect any exhaust fans periodically and clean out the debris. Not only is this one of the most effective residential electrical safety tips, but it will also help your appliances last longer. 

Follow Appliance Instructions

Many people operate electrical equipment without reading all the instructions. Make it a point to read the directions even with the most simple of appliances. You’ll likely pick up some maintenance tips that you may not have known. 

Residential Electrical Safety Tips for Air Circulation

Some appliances will overheat without enough air circulation. Don’t place electrical equipment in enclosed cabinet spaces. Always operate all of your appliances with plenty of space around them so you don’t cause a fire hazard. 

Avoid Accidents with Portable Heaters

Take precautions so that combustible items are never placed close to portable heaters. For example, don’t place a heater in an area near overhanging drapes. Turn space heaters off when you leave the house.

Follow these residential electrical safety tips to prevent dangerous accidents.

OBX Home Inspections serves the Outer Banks of North Carolina with inspection services for homebuyers and sellers. Contact us to schedule an appointment.