What Are the Most Dangerous Electrical Hazards in a Home?
Our human ancestors relied heavily on fire for the luxuries of light, heat, and cooking. Today, at the flick of a switch or a push of a button, we have the luxury of obtaining instant power.
You’d agree with me that electricity is one of the best blessings that science has given to mankind. From the time we wake up in the morning till the moment we hit the pillow at night, electricity has revolutionized our daily routines and now we cannot imagine our lives without it.
When it comes to modern homes, everything runs on electricity.
The alarm that you turn off each morning runs on electricity. Electricity is what keeps the lights in your bedroom on and provides you with that hot shower you take right before breakfast. It keeps the food in the fridge cold and fresh and the same grill that cooks your eggs and bacon runs on electricity. Moreover, I’m sure working from home has increased your reliance on the home’s electrical network.
However, did you know that living in a house powered by electricity also meant exposing yourself to different silent dangers that can lead to serious injuries and even cause deaths?
Outdated or Poor Wiring
I know many who are instantly inspired by the nostalgic appeal of an old home whose walls are filled with history. It’s easy to fall in love with antique homes and all the amazing character traits they have. Oh and these charming wood-burning fireplaces, ceilings with rustic wood beams and their overall quaint colonial style.
However, chances are you might discover cracked electrical wire coverings in a house that was constructed over 50 or 100 years ago.
Statistics from the National Fire Prevention Association show that old and worn-out electrical wiring is one of the leading causes of home electrical hazards and can result in power surges and electrical fires.
You see, old homes were built with less intensive building code requirements that do not meet current safety standards.
So, if the wiring in your house is 30 years or older, better have a licensed electrician inspect your home’s wiring annually to see if it needs to be replaced or repaired.
And, please be on the lookout for warning signs such as flickering lights, too-warm outlets and breakers repeatedly tripping.
Many of us think of lightbulbs as mere sources of light and often do not consider them as being potential electrical hazards.
By themselves, lightbulbs are not inherently dangerous, but as they are all over your house, with some sitting near flammable materials like drapes, plastics, upholstery and bedding, the potential for an electrical fire increases.
All bulbs usually have a specific amount of wattage for turning on and operating. But, a lightbulb with too much wattage can overload and overheat the wiring of a fixture, damaging the equipment and even starting a fire. Fortunately, this can be avoided if you use light bulbs with the correct wattage that the fixture can handle.
Contact With Water
A small reminder: water and electricity are a deadly combination.
Using electrical appliances like a hair dryer or installing outlets dangerously close to a water source represents dangerous home hazards.
If you do not want to end up with an electrical hazard, follow these tips:
- For spaces like bathrooms and kitchens, try to install electrical outlets far within a safe distance from water.
- Do not use electrical devices like radio, hairdryer or any other appliances in the bathroom, near the sink, pool or jacuzzi.
- The most important of all – never, I repeat, never use any electrical appliances with wet hands as this can heighten the possibility of getting an electric shock.
The list of disasters is not yet completed. If you want to keep your family safe from common electrical hazards that can occur in your home, remember to come back for part 2.