You’ve noticed that an electric outlet is sparking. Danger, danger!

July 7, 2014

An electric outlet sparking is anything but good. If you saw sparks when you tried to plug in an appliance, you need to get in touch with an electrical contractor at top speed.

You’ve noticed that an electric outlet is sparking. Danger, danger!

Don’t dabble with electricity; it really is like playing with fire. Cut the electrical power for the house right away, because an electric outlet sparking can cause an explosion or a fire.

Did you know?

While you’re waiting for the electrician, you can answer this short true or false questionnaire to evaluate your knowledge of electricity.

1.The easiest way to unplug an electrical appliance is to pull on the cord.

False. You should gently pull the plug with one hand, while anchoring the wall outlet with the other. Pulling on the cord may not only damage it, it can also cause the electric outlet to spark.

2.To change a light bulb, it’s better to either switch off the circuit breaker or unplug the lamp.

True. Once the circuit breaker is switched off—if it’s for a ceiling fixture—or the lamp is unplugged, electricity is no longer circulating in the light. That means you can change the bulb safely.

3. Extension-cord powerbars are made for multiple appliances.

False. Plugging too many appliances in the same outlet can cause a short circuit or even start a fire. Don’t overload a single outlet.

Dabbling with electricity is dangerous

  • Don’t use an electrical appliance when your hands are wet or your feet are bare on humid or wet ground.
  • Teach your children the key safety rules of electricity as well as its dangers. Protect your outlets with plug-in covers as required.
  • Make sure not to overload extension cords.
  • Always unplug appliances before cleaning them.
  • Keep flammable materials such as curtains and paper towels away from the stove, heaters, light bulbs, and hot plates.
  • Make sure both your circuit breaker and fuse box can support a current that’s appropriate for your home. When in doubt, ask an electrician to check it for you.
  • Keep your home’s electrical wiring in good order.
  • Don’t leave any unused electrical appliances plugged in or in sleep mode.
  • Never store anything on top of an electrical appliance.
  • Check if the plugs on your electrical appliances are suitable for the outlets. Never force a plug into a socket if it resists going in.

Sparks mean fire

Don’t forget to install fire detectors on every floor of the house. If an electrical fire breaks out, the alarm will warn all the occupants. Similarly, if you smell a burning-wire odour, turn off the electricity at the source and call the electrician and 911 if necessary.

*Not only is it dangerous, it may even be illegal in some provinces, such as Québec, to do your own electrical wiring. The solution: consider hiring a master electrician.

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