21 Dec Electric shocks at home: 10 important warnings
There are things that we sometimes do around the house that seem harmless to us and yet…
Today we want to remind you of what everyday actions come with a risk of electric shocks.
Warning 1 – Beware of damaged extension cords
Has your extension cord had a hard time? Throw it away! Also, never hide an extension cord under a carpet as it may become damaged and cause a fire.
Warning 2 – Pull on the plug and not on the cable to unplug an electrical device
Some people pull directly on the cable (instead of the plug) to unplug an electrical device. Bad idea … You risk damaging the cable and causing an accident.
Warning 3 – Unplug the toaster before trying to dislodge stuck toast
Is your toast or bagel stuck in the slot? Never insert a utensil into a plugged toaster; the risks of electric shock are too high.
Warning 4 – Switch off the light or unplug the lamp before changing a lightbulb
Need to change a lightbulb? Switch off the light or unplug if it is a lamp. IMPORTANT: Never handle an electrical device or lightbulb with wet hands. Water + electricity = danger!
Warning 5 – Locate wires before drilling a hole in the wall
If you are qualified and wish to drill a hole in the wall, use a stud and electricity detector to verify that there are no wires. If in doubt, don’t do the job! A damaged electric wire could cause an accident or a fire.
Warning 6 – Multi-outlet bars = risk of overheating
Be careful when using multi-outlet bars, especially if you are plugging many devices which consume a lot of electricity!
The solutions :
- Use a power bar with a built-in circuit breaker that cuts off the power in case of overload.
- Plug your various devices into different outlets.
- Unplug any devices you’re not using.
In addition, consider protecting your devices from overvoltage, which may be caused by lightning or other factors. Many power bars with a built-in circuit breaker are also equipped with a surge protector.
Warning 7 – Unplug the iron and other small appliances before filling them with water
Once again, water + electricity = danger! Unplug the iron, kettle, and humidifier when filling them with water. A splash that goes into the appliance could give you an electric shock!
Warning 8 – Avoid electrical devices in the bathroom
If you are wet or the humidity level is high, there is always a risk of using an electrical device in the bathroom (hair dryer, curling iron, razor, radio, cell phone), and this, even if the electrical outlets must have a protection system (called a ground fault circuit interrupter). If a charging cell phone falls in the water, you could get a serious electric shock.
Warning 9 – Never cut off or bend the third prong of a plug
This grounding prong protects against electrical faults. Use a three-pronged extension cord and insert the plug properly into the extension’s outlet.
Warning 10 – Be careful when removing the cover plate of a switch or outlet
When you remove the cover plate of a switch or outlet to paint the walls or apply a wall covering, your chances of coming into contact with electricity are much higher.
Before cutting wallpaper near an electric outlet or a switch, take the time to turn off the circuit breaker on the distribution panel.
What to do if a circuit breaker on your distribution panel trips
- Unplug any devices that stopped working after the breaker tripped.
- Switch the breaker back on.
If the breaker trips again even though the devices are not plugged in contact a master electrician. This link will redirect you to an external site.
If one of the breakers on your distribution panel trips often, spread out your devices onto different circuits. If the problem persists, contact a master electrician. This link will redirect you to an external site..
If you have an old fusible distribution panel, always replace a burnt fuse with a fuse whose rating corresponds to the circuit (e.g., use a 15-amp fuse for a 15-amp circuit ).