With the amount of appliances being used in homes growing, people are using more electricity than before. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the combination of appliances and lights usage makes up about 34% of home’s power. While this is understandable, it also increases the chances of electrical hazards, specifically electrical fires, in our homes.
As a property owner, it’s a smart move to continually review the safety of your property’s electrical practices. Rental property management will likely also have guidelines for electrical safety, but this article will go over a few ways you can help eliminate as much as possible the chances of electrical fires in your home.
Placement of Cords
If you are using a lot of extension cords to connect your appliances, a better idea would be to hire an electrician to increase the number of outlets instead. Extension cords are better for temporary use, as they can easily be tripped on or caught on other things in the home.
And don’t forget your normal cords, too. Check them regularly for damage so that you can replace them right away as needed. Be careful to not let cords run under carpets or across doorways.
If you have frequent issues with dimming or flickering lights, and if your outlets feel warm, have a qualified electrician take a look at them. In addition, make sure that all of your light bulbs are the proper wattage for the fixture. The maximum wattage should be printed on a sticker in the fixture that will tell you the right lightbulb wattage to use.
You’ve probably heard this one before: keep ALL electrical appliances away from areas that produce water, such as bathtubs, pools, and sinks. This is a huge hazard and should not be taken lightly.
When using heat-producing appliances, like toasters, coffee makers, or microwaves, make sure no more than one is plugged into the same receptacle outlet at a time, and unplug appliances that are not in use.
Install Extra Safety Measures
There are a couple of interrupters that can also be installed in your home to increase the safety around your electrical appliances:
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) : These work to reduce shock risk by shutting off any electrical circuit that becomes hazardous. You’ll want to install these in several areas of the house, including laundry rooms, bathrooms, garages, kitchens, basements, and any receptacle outlets outside.
- Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) : When a dangerous condition is present, these interrupters will also shut off electricity and are another good idea for installation in your home.
Once installing these, you’ll want to have them tested every month to guarantee they are in working condition.
Some Last Points
Property owners should take care to check homes for electrical hazards and install the proper precautions in avoiding them. And when you have someone handle electrical problems, it’s crucial to be sure they are a qualified electrician. Your property management company may be able to refer you to the best choice.