3 Tips to Prevent Electrical Shocks in a Home

Posted on: 29 April 2016

Getting an electrical shock is very painful, and in extreme situations, it can even be fatal. Thankfully, there are some simple tips that can help you avoid electrical shocks in a home.

Use Outlet Covers

Every outlet should have a cover on it that protects the wiring from being exposed. With the end of the electrical wires being exposed to connect to the outlet, it can lead to an electrical shock if you were to accidentally touch them. This can happen by going to plug in an electronic device and missing the plug and touching the wire.

If you have small children in the house, a common safety technique is to place a childproof cover over the plug to prevent them from sticking anything inside the outlet itself. Since this safety cover can sometimes be removed, you can take it one step further by replacing the outlet cover with one that is completely solid if the outlet isn't in use. The only way to get to the exposed wires would be to remove the cover by taking out the screws.

Ground Electrical Outlets

Chances are that you are familiar with the difference between an electrical outlet that has two prongs and three prongs. The third prong on an outlet is what helps ground the outlets and prevent shocks from occurring and is needed to plug in many expensive electronics and appliances in your home.

You may have three pronged outlets in your home, but that doesn't meant that they are functioning properly. You can use an electrical outlet tester to see if that third prong is actually grounded. It's possible that a previous owner of your home swapped out the outlet for the convenience of plugging in three pronged devices, but didn't properly ground it.

Grounding an outlet will require running a wire from the grounding screw to a grounded piece of metal. If you have metal conduit that the wires are in, it could be as simple as grounding the outlet to the conduit.

Use GFCI Outlets Near Water

The building codes these days require that GFCI outlets be used whenever an electrical outlet is near a water source, such as in the kitchen or the bathroom. These outlets will shut off the electricity the moment it detects water is present, which will prevent you from getting shocked.

If you have an older home, you may have non GFCI outlets near water sources. Make the simple swap to a new GFCI outlet to keep everyone near the outlet safe.

When you need help doing any electrical work in your home to make it safe, contact a local electrician, such as Safe-Way Electric & Solar Co., to assist you.