Electric shock is a common source of kitchen-related injuries. Several factors can cause serious electrical hazards.
Each year in the US, an estimate of 30,000 non-fatal electrical accidents take place. Twenty percent of them affect children, mainly toddlers and teenagers. Additionally, 5% of all electrical accidents result in burn unit admissions.
Electrical issues can lead to hundreds of fire-related accidents each year in the United States. In 2018, for example, electrical problems were responsible for 6.8 percent of all home fires—which is equivalent to about 25,800 fire incidents caused by faulty electrical wirings or components. Even in Charlotte, North Carolina, these types of accidents are common.
That alone should be reason enough to learn how to avoid electrical accidents at home. There are numerous ways of avoiding electrical injuries and preventing fire accidents.
To avoid these circumstances, here is a list of kitchen safety guidelines by Bates Electric. So, without any delay, let us start.
Do not Handle Plugs and Cords with Wet Hands
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. How? There are tiny metals and dissolved salts in it, which makes water an electrolyte. Now, the human body is about 50% to 60% water, which explains why it is an excellent conductor of electricity. As a result, if you touch a socket with wet hands, a current may flow onto your hands and run through your body. You are likely to get an electrical shock when this happens.
So, to maintain safety, always dry your hands before removing electrical equipment. This applies not only to kitchen appliances but to all electronic devices.
To help keep your kitchen safe, you can use microfiber hand towels. These are superior dryers because one inch of these materials contains about 200,000 microfibers. As a result, they are an excellent method to dry your hands.
Disconnect Appliances Properly
When disconnecting equipment, just pull them out by the plug, do not pull by the cable. If you pull on the cable too hard, you risk damaging the wires inside. Even worse, it has the potential to break or shatter the rubber covering on the cables, exposing the internal wiring.
Turn off the Device Before Disconnecting
It is a very common mistake to disconnect a device that is running. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to turn off the device before unplugging it from the socket. It can cause serious accidents if you directly pull the plug, besides, it can also cause damage to your appliances.
Install Electrical Outlet Covers
Covers for electrical wall outlets are often referred to as “boxes” or “plates” used to conceal the sockets. Some of them can be slid to open, while others resemble little doors and “clamp” directly into the wall plate. On every occasion, the main objective is to keep fingers, particularly those of inquisitive children, safe.
These shock-preventing devices are a must in families with infants and toddlers. They can also help to prevent moisture and dirt from getting into the holes of wall outlets in kitchens.
Keep Electrical Appliances Away from Water Sources
Keeping electrical equipment far away from the sink is a way to avoid electrical shock-related injuries in the kitchen. This helps avoid accidental spilling on your electronic devices, which may result in a shock. Also, spilling water on these devices can damage the appliances.
Use A Dedicated Outlet
Usually, electric stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators need a separate outlet. In such cases, no other appliance should be connected to the same outlet as they are.
Otherwise, a power surge can occur, resulting in an electrical shock. Additionally, this may trip the circuit breaker.
Overloading a circuit by connecting too many gadgets in the very same outlet is highly probable. As a result, your whole house may be in danger of an electrical fire.
Regardless of how small an item is, avoid plugging it into the same outlet with a larger appliance. If your kitchen has an insufficient number of outlets, you can hire an electrician to add more.
Use Extension Cords Carefully
When it comes to sharing power outlets, avoid continuous use of extension cables. Also, separate extension cables should be used for each device. It may assist in preventing electrical overloads, which can result in shock injuries and fires.
Relying on extension cords is often an indication of a lack of outlets. Also, it is essential to consider hiring a skilled electrician to mitigate this problem. They may add more outlets throughout your house, not just in the kitchen.
Experts say that increased usage of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) has reduced the number of deaths due to electric shock. If there is a mismatch between incoming and outgoing power, between devices, immediately shut off the power. There are several skilled electricians in Charlotte, North Carolina, who can determine if you have GFCI protection or not.
Electrical System Inspection
Electrical shocks & fires are often caused by outdated wiring. This is due to problems in a large number of older houses in the United States.
50% of owner-occupied houses in the United States were built before 1980. Numerous old houses continue to operate on their original electrical systems.
Therefore, if you own an older house in Charlotte, North Carolina, that has never been rewired, do not waste any time and contact an electrician to inspect it. This way, the electrician can determine the safety of your present electrical system. If it is too old, it may need to be renovated.
There are several methods to protect yourself and your family from electrical shock and fires at home. It could be as simple as drying your hands before touching plugs. However, it is good to hire an electrician, mainly if you live in an older home or often use extension cables.