One of the most common causes for electrocutions and electrical fires in homes are faulty or worn-out outlets. Inspecting your electrical outlets on a regular basis for deterioration or damage as well as updating and using them safely will help minimize the risks of a house fire and other accidents. Even when plugging or unplugging an appliance, most of us don’t pay much attention to the power plug point until there’s a problem. But knowing its condition, how it should be used and when it should be replaced is key to prevention.
Most fires are preventable if you check, maintain and update each and every power plug point. You should make sure that the covers are all intact and that they don’t have any gaps or exposed wires between the outlet and the surrounding wall. Holes or cracks in electrical outlets should be repaired or better yet, replaced. Moreover, it’s a good idea to employ an electrician or a person with expertise to do it, as licensed electricians are trained to safely fix these problems and make sure your electrical system is up to date. Even if you have the expertise to do simple repairs and replacement of outlets, be sure to follow all the safety measures.
A lot of old homes have two-pronged outlets with outdated wiring. If you happen to notice that, you should ask an electrician for an assessment of your home’s wiring. You should consider installing new grounded outlets and updating the wiring. Two-pronged outlets should be replaced by three pronged grounded outlets which can be used with 3 pronged electrical appliances.
Furthermore, check that every two-pronged outlet is fitted with a grounding wire in the receptacle. If a grounding wire isn’t present, there’s no point in installing three pronged outlets as they won’t be grounded. You’ll have to add grounding wires before you change the outlets.
There are some rooms in the house where outlets are used more often than in other rooms, such as the bathroom and kitchen. All outlets in these particular rooms should be installed at a height that will keep them away from water. Furthermore, buy outlet covers to encase all the wiring and fasten them well. Be sure to immediately replace cracked covers and receptacles that break or chip. Double check loose plugs to make sure they are not worn down because this can pose as a serious threat.
Do all of the aforementioned and you can rest assured that you won’t be having any problems with your outlets anytime soon. But better yet, you will be safe from fires and electrocution. Checking up on every outlet will take no more than a few minutes of your time and this should be done at least once a month.