Wall outlets are the bridge from electricity to appliances. They make it possible for our lamps, cell phone chargers, coffee makers and televisions to run. We don’t even think about how that happens or whether there are any dangers associated with them, however, there are a few things you can look out for.
- Make sure to regularly check outlets for damages. All wires should be covered and plates should be tightened down. If the plates are cracked, replace immediately.
- If outlets are warm to the touch or discolored, contact an electrician to determine the cause.
- In older homes, consider upgrading outlets to the safer, three-prong style that are grounded. If you don’t have three-prong outlets, never force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet.
- GFCI outlets should be installed in any area where there is water, such as kitchens, pools, crawl spaces and bathrooms. These outlets monitor electricity flowing in a circuit and trip the circuit if an imbalance is detected, protecting people from electric shock.
- If young children are in the home, cover outlets with plastic child safety plugs to keep little fingers and objects out of tempting outlets.
- Don’t plug too many electrical devices into an outlet; this increases the risk of fire. If a power strip is filling up, transfer some items to another outlet. Turn the switch to a power strip off when appliances are not in use.