The average home has 20 to 30 electrical outlets spread throughout the interior. That’s thousands of electrical connections, many of which are found in those receptacle outlets. Though you only see the outlet exterior, behind that face plate is an intricate, complex world of wiring, and while this science powers your entire home, it also presents a potential risk to you and your family, particularly the closer it is to the floor. Your home’s electrical wiring is a sensitive system that requires a professional to install, diagnose, and repair as necessary. It can also be a source of danger. Children are especially vulnerable to outlets, being that they’re easily in reach. There’s also the potential for faulty wiring or flooding to cause fire. Most homeowners never experience an issue with their outlets, but to ensure you stay one of them, here are some tips from CMC Electric to help increase electrical safety in your home.
- Inspect your outlets frequently. Many electrical fires and shocks could have been avoided if more attention was paid to outlet condition. It’s a good idea to check your outlets monthly to make sure the plate is on correctly and is not damaged. Your outlet needs to be replaced if you see cracks or holes forming, and exposed wiring must be carefully handled by a professional immediately if the plate has come loose.
- If your home is older and still features two-pronged outlets, it’s time to update. These should be replaced by three-pronged outlets that are grounded and can be used with many of today’s three-pronged appliances. Again, this needs to be done by a professional to ensure the necessary grounding is present to avoid electrocution or fire.
- When using your outlet, make sure to plug and unplug wires correctly. Hold the cord by the base instead of pulling the cord itself to avoid damage that can lead to exposed wiring. Never touch an outlet or cord prongs with wet hands, and don’t try to force plugs into outlets if they don’t easily fit.
- Keep children away from outlets and teach proper safety. Unfortunately, children are harmed by interference with outlets frequently. If you have children or regularly have small children as guests, buy plastic covers to block every outlet, and teach children the danger of touching outlets when they’re old enough to understand.
- Be prepared for flooding. If you know a flood is likely about to affect your home, use your circuit breaker to cut off your home’s electricity before evacuating. This will ensure that if the water rises to outlet level, the moisture won't mix badly with the electrical current if it seeps in. It will also make your home more safe once you return, but you should still have a professional be the first to touch or strategize how the return of your electricity should be handled.
If you notice a problem with your outlets, need them updated, or just want more information about electrical safety in your home, contact our team at CMC Electric. We specialize in electrical and outlet repair and can take care of your issue quickly and efficiently thanks to our team’s many years of experience and training. You can schedule your service online, or give us a call at our Raleigh, Clayton, or Wilmington location.