Electrical outlets in a home comes in handy for many things, however, they can be harmful if they are not protected or taken care of properly. One thing that doesn’t mesh well with power outlets, and can damage your home, is water. Here are some electrical safety tips on how to protect your outlets from water and other harmful problems.
1. If you have an outdoor outlet, ask an electrician to install a weatherproof box for protection. This sturdy enclosure typically has a hinged metal cover, as well as a lid that shields sockets from rain and snow when they're not in use. This is important because exterior outlets have a higher chance of being damaged or causing damage to your home.
2. Certain appliances produce a lot of steam, such as: coffee makers, countertop microwave ovens and humidifiers. A simple electrical safety tip is to try not to put this type of equipment right below or next to an outlet, as it can be harmful.
3. Moisture getting into your outlets can cause harm when plugging things in. However, some types of child proof covers can provide basic moisture protection. These child proof covers can also stop young kids from inserting objects into sockets. On top of that, these units keep dust, dirt and insects out of receptacles.
4. Always insert and remove plugs carefully. It is also important that cords do not get pulled out of the outlet vigorously. For example, if you use a vacuum cleaner, remember to unplug it before you walk too far away from the outlet. This precaution could prevent socket damage to your outlet as well as bent prongs on your cords.
5. If any of the receptacles were wired using a shortcut known as "backstabbing," ask a residential electrician to rewire them using screw connections. Backstabbing increases the likelihood that electrical equipment will fail or even spark a fire.
6. Try not to manually connect and disconnect power cords more often than necessary. If a device lacks a switch, use a power strip or surge protector to turn it on and off.
7. Avoid using appliances that have cords with badly bent prongs. It's best to have qualified service personnel fix or replace the plug. Storing equipment in safe locations will help ensure that no one steps on the prongs and damages them.
8. Exercise caution when moving heavy objects near receptacles. One way to protect outlets in this situation is to put a piece of heavy cardboard against the wall. If necessary, you could use painter's tape to hold it in place.
Taking care of your power outlets in and outside your home is a very important thing to do as a homeowner. Damaged outlets or misuse can cause harm to you and your home. Be sure you are taking proper caution and follow electrical safety when dealing with your home’s power outlets.
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