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4 Things to Teach Your Kids About Electrical Safety

August 24, 2021 | Blog

Did you know that the human body is made up of 70% water? Additionally, electricity travels at 186,000 miles per second. Why do these numbers matter? Well, because electricity is able to move quickly through water.

These statistics make the human body a great conductor of electricity, and also allows effects to be felt immediately. 

Continue reading our blog for safety tips adults should teach children to promote electrical safety and avoid electrical repair in and around your home.

Don’t Overload Your Extension Cord

Extension cords are designed for general use and come in many different sizes, can be used indoors or outdoors, and can host multiple appliances. Although extension cords are beneficial, they should be used as a temporary solution and not long-term. 

Overloading a circuit with too many gadgets can start an electrical fire,and, according to the United States Consumer Protection Safety Commission, over 5,000 house fires in America are caused by overloaded electrical outlets. 

Why does this happen? In short, because of an electrical current. When there is too much of an  electrical current flowing through a circuit, the conductor can start to heat up to disperse the energy that cannot be conducted. This heat can build up until the conductor gets hot enough to start a fire.

For this reason,  homes are equipped with circuit breakers and fuses.

Don’t Yank An Extension Cord From The Wall

When using an extension cord, remember that using one properly is critical for you and your family’s safety. 

By pulling on a cord, you can damage a plug, an outlet, or even the appliance that is plugged in. To remove a cord from an electrical outlet, you should always place your hand on the plug to remove the cord from your wall receptacle. 

Below are some tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) on how to stay safe to avoid electrical shock and electrical fires: 

  • Don’t overload your extension cord or allow it to run through water or snow on the ground
  • Don’t substitute your extension cord for permanent wiring
  • Don’t run an extension cord through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. If the cord is covered, heat will not be able to escape, which can result in a fire hazard 
  • Don’t use an extension cord for more than one appliance
  • Make sure that the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in, and is marked with either indoor or outdoor use:
  1. Designed for general use = S
  2. Rated for outdoor use = W
  3. Standard 300 voltage insulation = J
  4. Made from vinyl thermoplastic = T
  5. Parallel wire construction (air conditioning cords and household extension cords) =P
  6. Oil-resistant = O
  7. Made from TPE = E
  • Match the wattage rating on the appliance or tool you’re using to the wattage rate that your cord has. Do not use a cord that has a lower rating
  • Avoid using a cord that feels hot or damaged. Touching an exposed strand can give you electric shock or burn

Make sure to always keep these tips in mind to protect your home and loved ones. 

Watch Out For Your Powerlines

There are many misconceptions of power lines and whether or not they are safe to touch or work around. 

Below, we’ve listed a few of these common misconceptions to remind you of the importance of electrical safety. 

Misconception #1: Birds land on wires, so they’re safe to touch.

Electricity’s main goal is to reach the ground. Because of this, electricity will always try to get to the ground through the easiest or most direct route. Birds cannot be electrocuted when they land on a power line because birds don’t represent a path to the ground. A bird that is on the electrical wire is not touching anything else, so electricity doesn’t have anywhere else to go, so it will continue to pulse through the wire. 

Misconception #2: Power lines are insulated, making them safe to touch.

Power lines are not insulated. You should always avoid making contact with them because touching them and having contact with the ground will result in electrocution. 

Misconception #3: My ladder isn’t metal, so it’s safe to rest on a power line. 

There are many conductors of electricity. Even if you don’t have a metal ladder and are using a wooden ladder, you have to stop and think, “Well could my ladder have any water on it?”. If the answer is even close to a maybe, don’t risk the possibility of getting severely injured by touching your ladder that is also touching a power line. 

Misconception #4: My ladder isn’t touching the line, so I’m safe. 

This isn’t true. How far away is your ladder from the electrical line? It’s important to note that electricity is able to jump and often does when a conductor comes within a certain proximity depending on a few factors such as what the weather is like and the voltage of the power line. You should try to keep yourself and all objects at least 10 feet from overhead power lines.

Always play it safe when it comes to being around power lines. If you don’t know whether a situation is safe or not, contact your local Chicago electrician for answers.  

Keep Electrical Items Away From Water

It’s important to remember that water and electricity do not mix well. Always make sure that you keep electrical equipment dry and away from water to prevent damage to your appliances, also ensuring your safety from injury or electrocution.

If you work with electrical appliances or are, say, pulling a plug out of a socket, make sure that you have dry hands. Remember to keep any electrical equipment away from plant pots, aquariums and bathroom sinks, showers or tubs to prevent water and electricity from coming into contact. 

Arnold Electrical Services

Kids are naturally curious, so it’s important to protect them from whatever they may get into along the way. By teaching them these electrical safety tips, you can help keep your kids safe and alert. If you feel your home is in need of electrical repair or just needs a Whole-Home Surge Protection, contact Arnold Electrical Services today!

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