Electrical Safety Tips at Home: Appliances

To prevent unnecessary exposure to electrical hazards and safety risks, it’s important that your family members know the risks involved and simple prevention measures that can be taken to avoid dangerous situations.

Appliance Safety Tips

From a simple electric clock to the microwave oven, these safety tips can help keep all appliances operating safely:

  • Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations.
  • Appliances that generate heat, such as clocks, televisions and computer monitors should be given several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation and cooling. Do not drape clothes, toys or other items over warm appliances.
  • Always follow appliance instructions and do not attempt amateur repairs or upgrades.
  • Keep 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 at away from radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other heat sources.

Carefully observe all safety measures when using electricity to keep you and your family safe.

If an Electrical Short Happens

An electrical short (or short circuit) is a problem which occurs when an accidental path is created in a circuit, generating a connection where one did not exist before. Electrical shorts are very serious problems. The high rate of current results in the generation of heat, which can cause sparks or a fire.

An electrical short often generates a distinctive popping noise when the circuit is activated, as the electricity follows the new connection it has discovered and the circuit is suddenly overloaded with energy. Smoke or flames may appear, and the short can be strong enough to melt insulation on electrical wiring, or to cause damage to the circuit itself.

When an electrical short or spark happens, it is vital to understand what to do to prevent or put out an electrical fire to keep the damage from spreading. When a fire first ignites, it may be small enough that you can extinguish it with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher on hand. If the fire is quickly spreading, producing dangerous amounts of smoke, or taking longer than five seconds to defeat with a fire extinguisher, evacuate quickly, and call 911.

Unrepaired shorts can cause fires and severe damage, and it’s usually much safer and less expensive to get an electrician out the minute a problem occurs, rather than to wait for a fire to spark, or for an electrical system to fail catastrophically.

Need an electrician? Whether you have a home or business, FAB Electric is your source for reliable service. To schedule service, call 1-888-FAB-Elec or 301-622-6979, or submit the form on our Contact Us page.