Prevent summer electrical hazards with some safety tips. As temperatures start to soar during the hot summer months, the use of household electricity also spikes. Of course, you want to get the maximum benefit from your home‘s air conditioners, ceiling fans, and other appliances, but in doing so, it is important not to overlook potential hazards that could lead to an electrical fire and an unnecessary insurance claim.

By keeping in mind these electrical safety tips, you can keep your home free from hazards all summer long:

• Examine all outlets for loose-fitting plugs that might cause shocks or spark a fire.
• Install plug covers in outlets that can be easily accessed by pets or young children
• Use a surge protector to avoid overloading your outlets with too many plugs.
• Install ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) outlets in your home‘s wet areas (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, and basement). This device will automatically shut off power and prevent electrical shock when it detects a ground fault.  It‘s an especially good idea for areas of the home that are wet, like bathrooms and basements.

• Carefully check the cords on your appliances, particularly older appliances, for fraying or other damage.
• Reposition any cords that are under rugs or in high traffic areas where they can be easily tripped over.
• Never nail or staple the cord of an appliance to your walls.
• Remember that extension cords are intended for temporary use and should not be considered a long-term solution.

Light Bulbs
• Check all the light bulbs throughout your home to ensure they are screwed in securely. Proper installation will prevent them from overheating.
• Only install light bulbs that match the wattage requirements of the appliance. Never use a light bulb that exceeds the maximum wattage for the light fixture. Doing so could damage the fixture and cause a fire hazard.

Detectors & Extinguishers
• Test your home‘s smoke detectors to make sure the batteries are still good.
• If you do not already own one, purchase a home fire extinguisher to put out any small electrical fires that may arise. If you have one already, check the pressure gauge to see if it needs to be refilled.

Summer is a time for fun, sun, and relaxation, but it also brings unique electrical hazards that can threaten your home’s safety. At SurNet Insurance Group Inc. we think it’s essential to educate homeowners about the risks and how to prevent them. Here’s to hoping that these tips will help you enjoy a safe summer without electrical mishaps. Remember, safety starts with awareness and proactive measures. Stay informed and protect your home from electrical risks all year round.