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Outlet Safety Tips | for Your Houston Home

We end our week of electrical outlet awareness with a blog highlighting important safety tips and procedures. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires a year, which are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 a year. Did you know that the most common causes of electrical fires and electrocutions are old or faulty outlets?

Most of these could have been avoided with proper care and maintenance. This makes it all the more important to be mindful of the outlets throughout your home – including those on the exterior. Inspecting them on a regular basis, proactively updating them, and using them safely will help keep your home and household safe.

Below is a list of safety tips recommended by professional electricians.

Inspect Outlets

Inspect every outlet in your home on a regular basis. Make sure that the covers have not come loose, that there are no exposed wires or gaps between the outlet and the wall. If the cover is cracked or chipped, it should be replaced.

Update Outlets

Does your home have two-pronged outlets? You might consider updating them with new grounded outlets that can be used with three-pronged appliances. Most older (two-pronged) outlets need to be fitted with a grounding wire before they can be updated to a three-prong plate.

Incorrectly Installed Outlets

Outlets that are improperly installed are a major cause of electrical accidents. Are the outlets in the kitchen, bathroom and on the home exterior at a height that keeps them away from running water? Are they Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets? A GFCI is a protected outlet that can detect if an electrical current escapes from the intended flow – and will automatically shut off for protection. Consider calling an electrician if these outlets are not appropriately protected from your water features.

How GFCI Receptacles Keep You Safe

Outlets and Children

Children are injured every year when they insert sharp objects into electrical outlets. Homeowners with small children should protect outlets that are easily accessible with child-proof plastic safety plugs.

How to Baby Proof Everything Electrical

Regular Maintenance

Most electrical mishaps can be prevented with a little effort. Having your entire electrical system assessed and brought up to code is the first, best defense against electrical hazards. Scheduling a whole house safety inspection with a professional technician will catch any problems before they become serious.

5 Tips for Electrical Outlet Maintenance

Simply checking your electrical outlets every few months for defects will help reduce the likelihood of fires or accidents in your home. Scheduling an electrical safety inspection should also be a priority if you live in an older home and have outdated outlets or are experiencing problems with your electricity. Universal Home Experts can help with electrical safety inspections, GFCI and AFCI outlet installations and more. Give us a call at (713) 364-0226 and we’ll schedule an appointment today!