How to Prevent Electric Shocks and Fires

Your home’s electrical system comes with a lot of great benefits, like lights to help you see, outlets to plug in your devices, and power for all those convenient modern appliances. But when all that wonderful electricity gets out of control, it can also cause you significant harm.

Keeping Your Home Safe from Electrical Hazards with a Few Easy Steps

Even the smallest flaw in your electrical system can cause fatal shocks or electric fires if your home is not properly protected. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple precautionary measures to keep you and your family safe.

Preventing Electric Shocks and Fires Is as Simple as:

  • Knowing what type of protection to use
  • Knowing what needs protecting
  • Building safe everyday electrical habits

What Types of Protection Are Available?

There are two main types of electrical protection:

  • An AFCI, or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter, is designed to stop stray sparks from causing electrical fires
  • A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, is designed to divert currents into the ground to prevent severe or fatal electric shocks

Each type is useful for different appliances and situations, so always consult with an electrician to make sure you’re getting the right kind of protection where you need it most!

What Areas Need Protection?

There are a lot of places in your home that are vulnerable to electrical hazards. The biggest problem areas usually involve large amounts of electricity concentrated in one location or located near external hazards. This means that these are some of the things you should make sure are protected:

  • Large Appliances and Fixtures: This means your kitchen, laundry room, and even your bathroom should be protected. Electricians recommend using GFCI devices for individual appliances, especially ones that you use regularly.
  • Circuit Breakers: Get these protected with an AFCI to prevent shocks!
  • Swimming Pool Equipment: Electricity and large bodies of water are a dangerous combination, so make sure your pool motors and other pool equipment are protected with a GFCI to keep electrical currents safely grounded.
  • Internal Wiring: Most local electrical codes require the rooms in your house to be protected with AFCI devices, so you don’t get shocked when you use lights or outlets.

So How Do You Protect Your Home?

So, you’ve consulted with a licensed electrician and made sure all the proper protections are in place. But you're still worried about the possibility of electrical shocks or fires. Don’t worry; there are simple everyday steps you can take to make sure your home stays as safe as it can possibly be:

  • Be Safe Around Power Outlets: We all know that it’s a bad idea to mess around with outlets. These days, most come equipped with built in protection, but you should still make sure your unused outlets are covered, especially if you have small children.
  • Keep Cords Protected: Keep all power and extension cords in places where they won’t get bent or stepped on. Avoiding running cords through doorways or under carpets. A broken chord can be a major hazard! If you’d like to minimize chord usage in your home, ask an electrician about adding more outlets.
  • Always Use the Right Light Bulbs: Make sure you’re not using light bulbs that can’t stand up to the wattage of your lamp or fixture.
  • Watch Out for Signs of Trouble: If you notice anything unusual in your home’s electricity, like flickering lights or sudden black outs, contact an electrician right away!

Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your home’s electrical system, call the certified electricians at West Houston Electric at (832) 925-4669 for expert assistance!