4 Electrical Dangers To Avoid

Your home's electrical system has safeguards built in to keep you from danger. However, electrical malfunctions can still occur, and sometimes you can do things that put your home at risk. Here's a look at four things you should avoid doing so you protect yourself from fire and electrical shock.

1. Repeatedly Flipping A Breaker

Circuit breakers flip off because they are overloaded. It could be a temporary problem you can fix by turning off an appliance on an overloaded circuit. Then, when you flip the breaker back on, everything is fine. However, when you flip a breaker on and it flips off again right away, you should leave it alone and call an electrician. If you keep flipping it back on, the circuit will overheat, and you could cause a fire in your home.

2. Run Extension Cords Under A Rug

It may seem like a good idea to keep an extension cord hidden, but that creates a fire hazard by keeping the cord covered. If it heats up, it might spark a fire or melt the coating. You can't spot damage on a hidden cord. It could have a worn or melted spot on the coating and you wouldn't know it. Plus, with it covered, it may get walked on and damaged. Extension cords are intended for short-term use and not as a permanent solution. If you rely on them a lot, you should call an electrician and have extra outlets put where you need them.

3. Hire A Friend To Do Electrical Work

Unless your friend is a licensed electrician, you shouldn't hire them to do electrical work in your home. You should probably avoid doing anything but basic work yourself. When it comes to electricity, you don't want to cut corners by hiring someone to do the work cheaply or for a few beers. Your local codes may even prohibit non-electricians from working on your home's electrical service. The risk of fire or shock is too great if something goes wrong.

4. Use Indoor Extension Cords Outside

If you need to power a weed trimmer or a power tool outside, buy an extension cord for outdoor use. Also, be sure you buy a cord that's rated for the amount of power you need. Most cords designed for household use shouldn't be used outside. Outdoor cords are more rugged, and they can resist overheating caused by the sun as well as moisture. Using an indoor cord or connecting several indoor cords together could cause overheating and an electrical shock.

Don't take things for granted when it comes to electricity. Stay alert and avoid mistakes that could end in injury or even death. If there are problems with your home's electrical system, let an electrician check them out and make the necessary repairs.