Preventing Electrical Shocks and Fires

Preventing Electrical Shocks and Fires
The average homeowner recognizes that electricity poses a severe danger of electric shock. However, an experienced electrician will also tell you that electrical fires are another significant threat. These two dangers result in a number of injuries and fatalities across the United States every year, with around 500 deaths attributed to electrical fires alone. Here are some things to watch for, in order to prevent electrical shocks and fires and ensure your safety:    

Electrical Fires

In general, fires can develop extremely quickly, rapidly overwhelming you and causing catastrophic damage to your home. Deadly electrical fires, in particular, arise from the following problems:

  • Improperly fitted outlets that overheat when used excessively
  • Poorly wired connections that spark or overheat
  • Loose bulbs that short circuit
  • Overuse of a single extension cord
  • Installation of a light bulb that is the wrong-sized or not recommended for that fixture
  • Lack of maintenance of smoke detectors

Electrical Shocks

Electrical shocks are not always fatal. For example, think of the mild sensation you experience when you rub your feet on the carpet and then touch another person. It is mildly unpleasant, but not a dangerous to your life. However, the electrical current that runs into your house is another matter altogether; it can kill you or a loved one in an instant. Here are some problem areas that any prudent homeowner should be aware of:

  • Unused and uncovered outlets that are accessible to small children
  • Removal of the ground pin from any electrical cord, appliance, or other electrically operated device – this is a sure fire recipe for disaster!
  • Lack of a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in an area where water is routinely encountered
  • Jury-rigged wiring of appliances or outlets

The Bottom Line

Electrical and fire codes have been established for good reason: to protect you, your loved ones, and anyone else using the electrical devices in your home. Ignoring these codes is ignorant and an invitation for potential danger. If you become aware of any electrical work that is not up to code, you have an obligation to fix the situation or to inform the responsible parties. An inspection by a licensed electrician is always the best way to ensure that your home is as safe and secure as can be.

If you are ever in need of an experienced, licensed electrician in St. Louis, try the pros at Branham by Suburban Electrical Services.


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