The best prevention is knowledge! Take the time to learn and understand the basics of electricity, therefore the first step in preventing a dangerous situation is understanding the cause. In basic terms, electricity naturally tries to flow to the earth or ground through any material that will conduct an electrical current. Certain compounds, like wood and glass, are not good conductors of electricity. Other materials, like water and metal, work very well. The human body is able to conduct a current, and an electric shock happens when the electricity flows through part of the body. This happens most often when a direct source of electricity is exposed to human contact. It may also flow into a person through another conductor, like a pool of water or a metal pole.
Secondly, find out the electricity requirements of your home and household appliances. Know the specific types of circuit breakers or in the case of an older home fuses and their specific location. Even lightbulbs that are required in your home should be noted so you can replace them with the appropriate replacement parts. Remembering to replace items with like items ensures your part in preventing accidental issues within your home.
Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets and adapters where appropriate within your home. These devices are able to detect imbalances in the amount of electricity flowing through an appliance and will cut off the power to the appliance, thereby preventing a serious hazard.
Thirdly, store and use electric devices away from water at all times. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water, do not attempt to retrieve it until you turn off power to the corresponding circuit. Once the power is off, you can then retrieve the device. Make sure the device is not used again until it has been properly evaluated to see if it is good for future use. Always remember that water and electricity never mix well.
Lastly, always replace electrical equipment that is worn or damaged. Pay attention to the condition of your electrical devices, and maintain them regularly. Some signs that indicate a need for repair or replacing are: sparking, issuing of small shocks, frayed or damaged cords, heat from electrical outlets and recurrent short-circuiting to name a few issues.
If something seems strange, contact an electrician such as Jermar Electric to assist you with your issue. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as an appointment with Jermar Electric could not only save your home, but could very well save your life!