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2 July 2019

Electrical safety awareness tips for spring cleaning

Spring is the perfect time to get rid of old things stocked up in the basement.  If you haven’t done your spring cleaning yet here are a few tips and tricks to add to the list to make sure your home is free of electrical safety hazards.  It is the perfect time to go around the house and verify all outlets, extensions cords, batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, dryer vents, chimneys and other potential hazards.

Extensions cords.

Make sure all your extensions cords are safely tucked away to avoid chances of tripping. Plastic socket covers are a safe way to protect unused sockets.  Making sure that your extension cord is not overloaded is also important, using too many appliances on the same cord is a risk.  Using a good quality power bar with a surge protector is a better way to be safe.

Light bulbs.

We wouldn’t think they are an electrical hazard but there is a potential for fire when light bulbs are close and kept near flammable materials and textiles like drapes, plastics, beds or any other furniture item.

Best practices to keep in mind include:

  • turning the power off before replacing a light bulb
  • never replacing a blub with wet hands
  • making sure the right wattage is used

New LED light bulbs operate at a lower ambient temperature and represent less of a risk than old incandescent bulbs.

Electrical outlets and switches.

Making sure electrical outlets and switches are fixed tight is a good way to avoid an electrical hazard.  Loose electrical outlets in constant movement can hide loose wires connected to the outlet and create a major source of arcing, which in turn creates a hazard.

While we don’t suggest doing this on your own unless you are qualified for it, you can fix this yourself if you know how to perform an outlet shim while following safe practices (start by turning off the power breaker to the outlet in the electrical box).  Do not attempt if you don’t know how or aren’t sure, call a trusted electrician or handyman to come and fix it for you instead.

 

Very few tools are required to achieve this repair, you will only need a 4-in-1 screwdriver and a

voltage tester.

Electrical cords and wires

Keeping wires and cords uncovered is an easy way to avoid overheating. When covered, cords can overheat and can be the cause of an electrical fire.  Keeping them away from items and uncovered is a safe bet.

Tip:  never plug an electrical extension cord into a power bar.

Power bars and surge protector.

Electricity influx does happen and when loads gets too high, this can create a fire hazard. A surge protector can not only protect your electronics and any other items plugged to it, it can also prevent more serious situations like a fire hazard.  It is absolutely a sound investment if choosing the right type.  Before buying a power bar, make sure to know the technical specs of the protector.  The one important spec to look at is the voltage fluctuations the protector can cover.  It will act as a grounding agent should the electricity gets too high. It will automatically shut off and disperse excess electric power therefore protecting you and your items along the way.

Power bars usually don’t offer that kind of protection, but they remain a great way to avoid using extensions cords if need be.  Just be sure not too overload them with too many devices.

Safety starts with education, always teach proper safety practices to your kids.

Raise awareness about electrical safety hazards.

If you are a safety coordinator or involved in a safety outreach program for an electrical utility company or educational institution, Modeltech offers a range of high-quality electrical safety displays and fire safety props and can even provide training on how to use and present them.

If you have any questions about our products or services, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. We will be happy to answer all inquiries.