May is National Electrical Safety month so this is a great time to go through your home and make sure you don’t have any potential hazards waiting to cause problems. These potential hazards may have started as a temporary solution to a problem that has yet to be fixed, like an extension cord that is filled with the maximum amount of plugs that it can hold. Or keeping the electrical cords laying around leaving room for them to get tripped over or chewed by your family pet. In a study conducted by the nation’s independent insurance agents found that more than 18 million American homeowners never check for electrical hazards. That comes out to about one in four, with electrical fires causing 900 deaths a year and over $1.7 billion in property damage. There are steps you can take to keep these types of tragedies from happening. Here are a few tips you can do in about a half hour.

  • Check for loose-fitting plugs that can overheat.
  • Put safety covers on all unused outlets accessible to small children.
  • Walk around the house and touch all outlet plates. If any of them are hot to the touch or discolored, there may be a dangerous heat buildup at the connections.
  • Never remove the third prong, the ground pin, to make it fit into a two-conductor outlet. This could lead to an electrical shock.
  • Use the proper sized light bulb that is recommended for a fixture or lamp.
  • Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely because loose bulbs may overheat.
  • Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis—improper use is a major reason for home fires.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries twice a year.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water such as sinks, bathtubs, pools or overhead vents that may drip.
  • Do not operate any electrical appliance with wet hands or while standing in water.
  • Keep clothes, curtains, toys and other potentially combustible materials away from radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other heat sources.

Experts say that it is a good idea for homeowners to have their homes evaluated one a year by a licensed electrician at least once a year. The tips listed above are all things you can do as a homeowners to stop tragedy before it happens, but for the bigger things it would be smart to let a licensed electrician take care of that for you. To learn more Home Safety Tips visit us at Connect Your Home or call (888)566-3979. Check out the video below for more tips on your homes electrical safety.