As a homeowner, you should always be aware of the condition of your electrical system. It needs to provide power to your home sufficiently, and safely. There are really only two points where you and your family access your home’s wiring: at switches and outlets. That means that when a switch or outlet is broken, it can cause severe burns or electrical shocks. Read on to learn what you can do to keep your switches and outlets from malfunctioning.
Protect Switches and Outlets From Damage
Switches and outlets are designed to protect you and your family from an electrical current. Ironically, they’re connected to that very same current. If you have small children or seniors with dementia in the home, you should definitely install childproof outlets as a safety precaution. If your switch or outlet is cracked or broken, they need to be replaced. Prevent them from getting cracked, busted or broken by being extra careful when moving heavy objects and plugging appliances in gently.
Prevent Electrical Overloads
In addition to damage from physical force, switches and outlets can be damaged by electrical overloads. These occur when a circuit gets too much electrical current, and they’re extremely dangerous. It’s not uncommon for electrical overloads to cause dangerous sparks and even house fires. In fact, they cause an estimated 47,700 home fires across the country each year, resulting in approximately $1.4 billion in property damage — not to mention more than 400 deaths and almost 1,600 injuries.
There are things you can do in an effort to prevent electrical overloads, however. You can prevent electrical overloads by always plugging major appliances directly into a wall outlet instead of using an extension cord or multi-outlet converter. Power strips should be used cautiously and carefully, as they can easily become overloaded.
If you notice a warm plate, you smell something burning, or you can feel tingling when you touch it — it’s a sign of damage. You’ll need to find out what’s causing the damage and have it fixed right away. Electrical issues can worsen very quickly, so be smart, and contact your trusted electrician immediately.
Is It Time to Upgrade Your Wiring?
If you live in an older home, your wiring system may not be able to adequately power your home. Just 20 years ago, homes had a much less advanced electrical system in place than we do today. If you notice that you have been having to use more and more extension cords, it’s likely that your power isn’t enough for your needs. You should speak to a licensed, professional electrician about upgrading your home’s wiring. Not only will they be in good shape, but your home will be up to date and able to meet you and your loved one’s needs.