How can I minimize electrical risks in my home?

There are some obvious electrical risks that you can easily spot in your home and minimize yourself without expert help.  Begin by performing a quick check of the electronics, appliances, outlets and electrical cords in your home. Any worn, frayed or damaged electrical cords should be replaced with brand new cords or replaced with a newer item with a fresh cord.  Outlets with singe or burn marks should not be used until after a professional has inspected them and determined them safe for use. Extension cords that stretch across the home can also be hazardous and use of them should be kept to a minimum. Plug these items directly into an outlet closer to the appliance, or unplug the extension cord when the item in not in use. Small appliances, such as hair dryers, radios, lamps and portable heaters, should be kept far away from water sources, bathtubs, wet floors or swimming pools. Check your fuse box and outlets for a safety switch, which will trip and cut off power if a circuit in the home becomes overloaded, minimizing the chance of an electrical fire starting or anyone being the victim of an electric shock. If you do not see a switch, or you are not sure if a safety switch is present or not, contact an electrician to get a qualified opinion on the best way to proceed.

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