How to Prevent Shocks from Electrical Outlets

Posted On: April 11, 2018

The danger of electric shocks from wall outlets in your Lenexa or Kansas City home is very real. As an “always-on” society, we plug in many more devices, for hours longer, than ever before. Some of us live in homes that were never designed to provide electricity for so many power-hungry game consoles, Internet-connected appliances, and communication devices.

You may rightly wonder: How can you keep your electrically challenged, power-dependent home (and loved ones who live there) safe from electric outlet shocks? It’s simple when you follow our expert guidelines about home electrical outlet safety.

What Homes Are at Risk for Electrical Hazards?

Older homes, with lots of character and charm, may come equipped with “antique” wiring. These Kansas and Missouri homes are especially vulnerable to electric outlet shocks. But it’s not just older homes with crowded–sometimes overloaded–electric outlets that are in danger of being shocked…

New, modern homes may be still at risk from electrical outlet problems. Even if your home isn’t considered old, it can present electrical wall outlet dangers. Fast-paced technology development means household power needs are always increasing. Homes constructed only 5-10 years ago may not have enough electrical outlets to suit today’s smart-home electrical needs.

Avoiding Electrical Outlet Dangers at Home

Protect your home, family, and belongings from electrical outlet mishaps with our expert tips:

  • Have wiring inspected when you buy/move into your home, even if it’s relatively new. Licensed electricians from Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can make sure your circuit breakers are sufficient to accommodate all electrical needs. We also make sure wiring is up to code and runs correctly through walls for outlet safety.
  • Beware of hidden problems of improperly maintained homes or older houses. Past water leaks, roof leakage, floods, or plumbing issues may have affected electric outlets. Mice or other critters may have nibbled wiring insulation, making it unsafe. Prioritize home electrical inspection to ensure safe outlets.
  • Get a backup. We supply emergency backup generators.
  • Don’t overload outlets. Outlet expanders turn a single wall outlet into five or more and easily become overloaded. You risk short-circuiting and ruining devices plugged into them.
  • Use high-quality surge protection. Make sure surge protectors are rated to handle appliances, computers, or devices. Consider dedicating a separate surge protector to your TV or computer(s). If you’re unsure which type you need, let Top Notch electricians advise you.
  • Don’t confuse extension cords with surge protectors. Many electrical device manufacturers ban “plain” extension cords for their products in the instruction manual. Use only heavy-duty extension cords (often thicker and brightly colored) with power tools. (Don’t use household cords.)
  • Use grounded (3-prong) plugs and outlets.
  • Don’t run cords across walking traffic areas. This is asking for a trip-and-fall accident and can cause problems with wall outlets.
  • Don’t install outlets as a DIY project. Electrical outlet installation safety is too important.
  • Use baby-safe outlet covers if you have kids or pets playing on your floors.
  • Use only GFCI outlets in bathrooms. When using hair dryers, electric razors, or other bathroom devices, plug into specially-protected Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter wall outlets.
  • Respond to electric outlet problems immediately. Stop using and call your trusted electrician if you notice outlet issues like:
    • Sparking outlet or plugged-in device.
    • Smoke from wall outlet(s).
    • Strange smells or burning odors from electric outlets.
    • Circuits that frequently overload and “break.” If you must often reset the breaker, get an electrician to check breaker boxes and electrical system.

If you’re concerned about home electrical safety, or have problems with commercial electric outlets, contact Top Notch for electrical services in Lenexa and Kansas City today!

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