How to Spot Home Electrical Hazards
Did you know that electrical fires cause almost $2 billion worth of damage each year?
It's no wonder look around. We use electricity for just about every creature comfort in the house, which is why safeguarding against electrical hazards is so important.
A good place to start is the breaker box. This labeling right there on the door because if there is a problem in the house you can come and shut down the source of the problem. And also, a lot of people leave their doors open on these. If there is going to be a problem in the breaker box, leave it in the box.
Every lamp and fixture is marked with information about what wattage bulb it needs. Using a 100-watt bulb in a fixture marked for 40 watts is asking for trouble. Higher wattage bulbs can damage the fixture, which leads to fire.
If you need more light don't increase the wattage, add another lamp!
Typically things don't work well if they're not plugged in but take a look at your cords. Look closely where that goes into the plug. It's frayed, it's damaged and it's a nightmare waiting to happen.
Also, if you reach to grab a cord and it feels warm, say warmer than the others around it, that's a good sign of a bad cord.
Most of us know water and electricity do not mix, but sometimes a simple slip of the hand and the hair dryer can tumble into the sink. That's why you should have a button on your sink outlet. It's called a ground fault circuit interrupter and it safeguards against electrocution.
These should be on outlets in any room where water and electricity are close like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, and utility rooms.
Here's another important safety tool. It's called an AFCI, which stands for arc fault circuit interrupter.
Many new homes have these, but every home needs one and it's a particularly good idea for an older home.
This little device can help detect wiring problems that could lead to fire. It's not a do it yourself project. So you'll need to contact a licensed electrician, but when you consider the value of peace of mind, it's well worth it.
This entry last modified on: January 25, 2013 5:26 PM
About the Video
Electrical problems are a major cause of house fires. Here's how to spot and safeguard against electrical hazards in your home.