According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, an estimated 51,000 home electrical fires occur each year. What’s more, 65% of home fire deaths are a result of malfunctioning smoke detectors, further pointing to the adverse effects of poor electrical performance. Electrical malfunctions can happen at any time for many different reasons, making it essential for homeowners to routinely ensure their electricity and home appliances are functioning properly and safely.
Making sure your home’s electrical equipment is safe doesn’t require one to be an expert electrician. There are many proactive measures homeowners can take to ensure enhanced electrical safety in their homes.
Electrical Safety Do’s & Don’ts
When checking your electrical systems for safety, it’s a good idea to tackle each category individually: cords and plugs, lighting, and appliances. Here is a brief checklist for you to go through when examining the electrical systems in your home:
- Cords & Plugs: Thoroughly inspect each cord, plug, surge protector, and extension cord for frayed casing or exposed wires. Be sure your plugs fit snugly into all outlets and alert a licensed electrician if they are too loose. In damp areas such as your basement, only use water-resistant extension cords. Never run extension cords under carpets or use them as a permanent fix for insufficient outlets. Additionally, do not use one outlet to plug in multiple high-wattage or heat-producing devices, such as coffee makers, space heaters, electric blankets, or toaster ovens.
- Lighting: Each of your lights should display its maximum accepted wattage. Use this to ensure you only use lightbulbs that are either at or below the recommended wattage listed for your lamp. Be sure all lamps and light fixtures are on a flat, level surface and are at least one foot away from flammable materials such as curtains or blankets.
- Appliances: Ensure each of your appliances is plugged directly into a wall outlet and not into a surge protector or extension cord. Keep heat-producing appliances far away from flammable materials and be sure to unplug countertop appliances when they are not in use. Additionally, be sure to keep your kitchen exhaust fan clean to avoid buildup of grease, lint, and other flammable materials.
If you have young children in your home, it’s also a good idea to consider installing tamper-resistant electrical receptacles to protect them from harm. Contact your trusted electrician to consult with them about additional safety precautions you should take that are more specific to your home environment.
Signs Your Electrical Safety Could Be at Risk
Just as important to your safety is your ability to detect the signs of increased risk. The following are just some of the warning signs that can indicate the need for urgent assistance from our licensed electricians:
- Tingling sensations when using outlets or switches
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers
- Burning smells from your appliances, outlets, or switches
- Discolored outlets or switches
- Sparks, shocks, or electrocution when using outlets
- Flickering or dimming lights
If you notice any of these symptoms in your home, call the team at Lon Lockwood Electric at 585-766-4702 to schedule service immediately!
Electrical Safety Checklist for New York Residents
Ensuring electrical safety for your home and your loved ones means being prepared and knowing how to spot danger before disaster strikes. Use the following checklist to identify potential electrical safety issues in your home before they escalate:
Cords & Plugs
- Inspect and replace any cords, plugs, surge protectors, or extension cords that have frayed casings, exposed wires, or broken parts
- Ensure no extension cords are placed under carpets or over door thresholds
- Refrain from using extension cords as a permanent solution, opting instead for outlet installation from your Lon Lockwood electrician
- Don’t overload outlets with multiple high-wattage or heat-producing devices, such as space heaters or microwaves
- Ensure all plugs fit comfortably into each outlet, and contact an electrician if they don’t
- Plug all major appliances — including washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and stoves — into a wall outlet, never a surge protector or extension cord
- Use only water-resistant extension cords in wet or damp areas
- Follow the guidelines for maximum wattage listed on lamps and lights, using only bulbs that are at or below the indicated maximum
- Keep lamps on a stable, flat surface away from flammable materials, such as drapes or blankets
- Keep heat-producing appliances like toasters and coffee makers away from flammable materials
- Ensure all countertop appliances are unplugged after each use
- Clean the kitchen exhaust fan to prevent grease, lint, and other debris from building up
- Never bring a portable heater into the bathroom, and only use space heaters in your home that have been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory
Additional Safety Considerations
- If children are present in your home, consider having a licensed electrician replace electrical receptacles with tamper-resistant alternatives
- Consider installing an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to provide additional electrical safety protection to your home
- Have AFCIs and GFCIs tested on a monthly basis
If you still experience tingling sensations when touching plugs or switches, frequent circuit breaker trips, burning odors from appliances, sparking outlets, or flickering lights, contact your Lon Lockwood electrician immediately. Our team will be happy to help get your home’s electricity back to safe conditions to protect you and your family. Contact us today to schedule electrical services for your New York home!
Lon Lockwood Electric Services for Improved Home Safety
At Lon Lockwood Electric, our team is dedicated to ensuring your home’s electrical systems are the safest they can be. Our team of knowledgeable electricians has the skills and expertise necessary to ensure safe, reliable electricity throughout your home.
Call us today at 585-766-4702 to get assistance with your home electrical safety needs and schedule service for your home!