Electricity has become a highly needed resource around the world. We all want electricity because it lights up our homes, powers up the entertainment systems, and the list goes on. However, as good as this artificial resource is, it comes with a lot of dangers. Every year, electricity causes around 300 avoidable deaths and 4000 severe injuries. If that’s not bad enough, it is the sixth most common way people die in the workplace. It also caused about 47,000 house fires between 2007 and 2011.
To your relief, there are measures you can take to prevent electrical hazards. The most effective thing to do is obtain electrical safety devices to protect your home from danger. That said, here are five safety devices you must have at home.
This device is the heart of the electrical system in any home. It consists of many switches and is rectangular or square. Furthermore, circuit breakers perform three main functions, which are:
- Managing connections – A circuit breaker’s primary function is to serve as a mediator between your house and the utility company. It then proceeds to distribute this current to other electrical outlets in the home.
- Regulating excess current – It protects your house’s electrical system from a short circuit or a current overload.
- Acts as a central off switch – The power your electrical company feeds your house never shuts off, so this electrical safety device has a central switch you can toggle on-off.
Sadly, most houses, especially those built in the last 50 years, consisting of old and rusty circuit breakers. Most of them can’t power modern homes. So, you should get a modern one if your house has an old one.
Suitable extension cords
Extension cords are of utmost importance in a home. These electrical devices provide more electrical outlets you use to power and charge various electrical appliances. Several electrical devices require different currents, and that’s why you need to choose a suitable extension cord.
For indoor use, you can get a regular extension cord. However, for outdoor use, a 20 amp extension cord is the way to go. They are durable, long, and versatile. Before you buy one, make sure you carefully check the authenticity of the extension cord. There are many fakes out there, and purchasing a fake one can damage your appliances.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
This is a device attached to the circuit breaker that can save your life several times over. Sometimes, when the utility company provides massive current, the circuit breaker can tend to become overwhelmed. Without this device, the circuit breaker may fail to protect your appliances from the enormous current. Touching any of these appliances at this moment can cause electrocution.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI) is an electrocution protection device that gauges the contrast between the power going into the circuit breaker and its energy. If they sense any difference from the recommended power, these devices will determine if this variance is harmful. They immediately override the circuit and shut it off if needed.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters(AFCI)
An arc fault is an unintended electrical power a circuit breaker discharges due to internal damage, loose or corroded wires, or damaged terminals. These faults are caused by low currents that circuit breakers or electrocution protection devices can’t notice. Low currents tend to overheat wires, which would cause wires to loosen or corrode. If it continues to go undetected, it can damage wiring and insulation around the house to a great degree.
AFCI is a device you can use to monitor low currents and shut off the circuit breaker if it perceives the low current threat. It sounds similar to GFCI, but there are vast differences between the two.
Nowadays, manufacturers include fuses in virtually all electrical devices. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are hard to miss. Moreover, fuses consist of a metal strip made out of copper that keeps electrical connections open. If excess current flows through a device, the fuse contains it and melts in the process. This stops several electrical hazards from happening, such as electrocution and electrical fires.
You need to replace a fuse when it melts. Most people don’t do that, which can severely damage your appliance the next time excess current comes in. When you want to get one, make sure you consult a professional to recommend the perfect fuse to buy. There are several fuses in the market used for various appliances.
Many countries around the world have access to electricity. Although this human-made resource has enormous benefits, it also poses a considerable threat to society if it is not regulated and monitored. These five electrical safety devices are guaranteed to protect you from virtually all electrical hazards that can happen in your home. It would also be best not to tamper with any of these devices yourself without any professional supervision or help. You are risking starting a fire, electrocution, or other electrical hazards if you do.