With electricity you can never be too safe, and even if you believe you’re following all the necessary steps and precautions in your apartment home, there’s always room for improvement! One big thing that goes unchecked, in New Orleans and elsewhere, for many people are electrical outlets. They’re everywhere in our homes and offer convenience and flexibility in how and where we can use our appliances. However, take the time to make sure you’re being safe with your electrical outlets. Practicing electrical outlet safety in your apartment will keep you and any children or pets you may have safe from electrocution. It can also keep your apartment safe from electrical fire and damage! Remember the dos and don’ts when it comes to using the outlets in your apartment.
First of all, use safety covers on outlets when they are not in use. Outfitting individual outlets with safety covers is especially important in apartments with children and pets, as the outlets are at a level where pets and curious children could potentially be injured should they decide to play with them. However, even if you don’t have children and pets in your household, you should use electrical outlet safety covers when the outlets are not in use. Be conscious of what you are and aren’t using, and unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. These items use energy even when not in use, and a short in a wire could cause a big problem! Cover your outlets after you unplug items to make sure you keep out dirt, grime, and debris!
Make sure all the outlets in your apartment have their cover plates in place! Even if you don’t think certain outlets in the apartment work, you should never leave outlets exposed without the cover plates in place. Cover plates are simple to replace, as most fit a standard size and require only two screws to keep in place. You can safely replace them yourself or ask your community manager to replace them. Leaving outlets without cover plates is not only dangerous, but unsightly! It only takes a minute or two to cover your outlet to ensure safety and a neat appearance.
If you’re using extension cords in your apartment, try to make them a temporary fixture. You shouldn’t leave your electronics plugged into an extension cord when the item is not in use, nor should you use more than one extension cord for the same item. Extension cords force the electrical current through greater distances and leave your apartment more vulnerable to electrical damage. If the cord frays or is pierced, you may get shocked! Electrical shocks are dangerous, and can result in a trip to the hospital or worse.
It should go without saying, but never use an electrical appliance near water. You should be especially careful in the bathroom not to use electrical appliances near water sources, as water coming into contact with electricity can cause electric shock. If you must use the appliance near a sink, make sure the sink is off and all surfaces are dry before proceeding.
Most of us aren’t electricians and don’t know much about the wiring of our apartments. So, don’t try to re-wire your apartment yourself! Living in an apartment, you can and should always turn to your property manager when it comes to more intricate electrical outlet tasks, such as rewiring. If you experience problems with outlets, such as outlets that don’t work or outlets that give off excessive sparks when plugging in or removing a cord, talk to someone in your rental office. A Maintenance Service Technician should be sent over to deal with any problems you may have. Some instances may even call for an electrician, let your Property Manager be the judge. Even if you think you may know how to solve a wiring problem, don’t risk it! Not only do you risk injuring yourself, but you may be held responsible for any damage you do to the apartment in the process.
It doesn’t take much time or effort to be aware and safe when it comes to electrical outlets. Just remember to take an inventory of how you’re using your outlets and adjust accordingly. Hopefully by doing this, you’ll keep your pets, children, and yourself safe. You may even save a few bucks on your electricity bill in the process!