Naturally, electricians hear a lot of easily preventable, yet tragic stories of electrical accidents that could have been easily prevented with a little know how. Accidents can happen any time and a volt of prevention is worth a watt of cure.
Cords: Cords must never be stapled or nailed into place; moreover, they should never be placed under rugs. If covered, the cord is not only a trip hazard, but it cannot cool down properly. What's more, any wearing or frays will go unnoticed, which is a perfect recipe for a fire hazard. Tape your cords along the outskirts of the room for a safer household.
Plugs: Electrical contractors see this one a lot. Do not modify a plug for any reason. Filing down prongs or removing the third prong (aka the ground pin) will lead to an electrical shock. A plug should fit snugly into a socket, and should never require force. The consequences of ignoring this tip can be painful and even deadly.
Water: It's basic science. Water is highly conductive; any electrical current introduced to a body of water will spread all over that body of water until power runs out...and if that's a plugged in hair dryer that fell in the bath tub, that's a lot of electricity for a long time. Never reach into water to retrieve an appliance that fell in, even if it's been turned off.
Lightning: Every Electrician knows that this one is often overlooked. During an electrical storm, turn off all appliances and stay out of the water (including baths and showers). If lightning strikes the electrical wires outside your home, there will be a surge of power throughout the house. Anyone in the bath or shower will be electrocuted from water coming out of electrified pipes, and any active appliances will likely be blown out. It only lasts a few seconds, but the loss of life or property is permanent.
Space Heaters: Space heaters are small devices placed in a room to generate heat. Due to their size and function, they are usually a temporary addition to a room and some important safety information gets ignored. Never, ever place a space heater within a yard of anything flammable. Rugs, furniture, and draperies are the most common examples of things that have lit up when placed carelessly close to a space heater.
All electrical contractors typically likely agree that if everyone acknowledges these simple tips, the loss of life and property can be reduced considerably. Be safe!
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