Importance of Having Properly Maintained Electrical Outlets
Among the most common causes for electrical fires are faulty outlets and appliances. For this reason, frequently replacing your electrical outlets and ensuring you don’t use faulty appliances with fried cords is essential. Most fire hazards and electrocutions are preventable if people pay enough attention to all the safety measures which include having common sense. Following all the safety requirements and codes for using contemporary electronics and outlets is key in order to avoid injuries.
Most electrical circuits in a home are either 15 or 20 amp, 120 volt branch circuits. The codes require that all these circuits are grounded with a three-prong receptacle and a suitable electrical outlet to which the devices can be connected. However, even if you do abide by all regulations and safety codes, you still need to properly maintain the outlet to ensure safety.
A couple of times a year, you should inspect all your electrical outlets and make sure all the covers are in shape and there aren’t any exposed gaps and wires between the wall and the outlet. Cracks or holes in electrical outlets should be repaired, or better yet, replaced.
If you aren’t capable or have doubts whether or not you can do the repairs or replacement yourself, calling an electrician to do it for you is always the safest option. These people are trained and equipped to safely deal with such problems as well as to ensure your home is safe and functional in that regard.
It’s also very important that you insert and detach plugs and cords in and out of a power socket by holding the base of the plug securely. Recklessly pulling cords that you want to unplug from an electrical outlet could be a cause for serious damage. Pulling cords at an angle can also bend the plug, harm the outlet and break the wire.
If you have kids or a pet, there are outlets available with sliding panels which are sprung into place when there’s no appliance connected to the outlet in order to prevent kids from poking items into the slots. There are also specially made outdoor outlets which are mandatory for use in wet or damp outdoor locations. These outlets should always be GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to protect against shocks.
Even if the outlets are moisture resistant, you should still avoid plugging in appliances with wet hands or if the outlets are wet themselves. Water is a great electricity conductor that can increase the likelihood of electrocution. Outdoor outlets are especially susceptible to damage and may require your attention more often than the outlets you have indoors.