4 Common Electrical Safety Mistakes You're Making In Your Home

No one wants to experience a home fire, but you may not realize you're making some common electrical safety mistakes that could lead to a fire. Check out these four common mistakes and how to fix them.

Using Extension Cords as Permanent Solutions

During the summer, maybe you use an extension cord to plug in a fan, or at Christmas, you use one for your tree. Using extension cords every once and a while for temporary use is fine, but you shouldn't use extension cords as a permanent solution. Overuse of extension cords can lead to overheating and electrical fires. If you need more outlets in your home, it's best to have more installed by a licensed electrician, like the ones at Advantage Electric, instead of using extension cords. If you need to use an electrical cord for temporary use, make sure to check the load requirement and use a cords with three-prong plugs.

Placing Furniture on Cords

Cords are ugly, so it's common to try and hide them behind or under furniture, which is fine if you play it safe. Tucking a cord under a couch with legs is safe, but if the couch rests on the floor and is actually sitting on the cord, that's a safety hazard. No furniture or equipment should actually be resting on the cord. This can cause damage to the cord, which increases the chance of a fire. Some people like to try and tuck cords under rugs, but this is also not safe because the cords may become damaged if people walk on them.

Ignoring Loose Outlets

You plug in your coffee pot, and the cord just slips right out of the outlet. It isn't just annoying. It's also a fire hazard. The blades inside the outlet get hot as they power your appliance. As long as there is a tight seal, this isn't a problem. The electricity passes directly from the outlet to the appliance. However, if the connection is not tight because of a loose outlet, that heat is exposed. If something flammable gets near it, the heat can cause it item to ignite. If you have loose outlets, you need to have them repaired as soon as possible.

Choosing Lightbulbs With the Wrong Wattage

Different light fixtures have different wattage limits. If you have a lamp with a max limit of 100 watts, it's perfectly fine to use a 60 watt or 100 watt lightbulb. However, using a 100 watt bulb on a lamp with a max limit of 60 watts is another fire hazard. This can cause damage to the light socket and wires, which could lead to an arch fault. Unfortunately, the damage caused by using a lightbulb that is too powerful could be permanent.

If you are making any of these mistakes, you are increasing your chance of an electrical fire. If you are worried about your electrical wiring or need additional outlets installed, contact a licensed electrician in your area today. 

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