11 Proven Ways to Prevent Short Circuit at Home

Proven Ways to Prevent Short Circuit at Home
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: August 18, 2022
  • Updated On: July 10, 2023

Electricity is a blessing in our day-to-day life. What was once regarded as a luxury is now a necessity for everyone. Almost everything in our homes is powered by electricity, which, when used properly, is a useful force.

Short circuits are major electrical accidents that cause devastating results to our homes and property. Today we discuss the precautions and ways that can help to prevent causing this event to an extent.

What Causes Short Circuit?

A short circuit occurs in an electric circuit when the longer intended path taken by the electrical current to complete the circuit is bypassed. In other words, a short circuit is an unintentional flow of current in a low resistance path.

A short circuit can harm appliances, cause electrical shock, or even start a fire. And by doing nothing to prevent it, you’re only raising the chance of these occurrences.

If you are living in a rental house, you can prevent short circuits by taking the precautions below:

Inspect Outlets and Appliances

Checking outlets for faulty internal wiring is difficult, but you can easily look for other signs. These could be buzzing noises from the outlet, a strange smell, burns on the outlet itself, or exposed circuitry.

Make sure that none of the wires of your appliances are damaged or in need of repair. Before you plug in your device, check for any leaked or open wires sticking out of the device.

Always remember which circuit each breaker controls. This could help a lot during an emergency where you need to switch off a breaker for safety.

Unplugging After Use

Many people have a bad habit of keeping appliances plugged in while they’re not using them. These can be TVs and consoles, kitchen appliances, and more.

Note that some of these devices use power when not in use. A continuous plug-in may cause overheating or overloading and can lead to electric shocks and damage them.

Loose or Unintended Connections

While connecting devices to an outlet, make sure the connection is strong enough so that the plug won’t get loosened on its own.

Do not hesitate to change the outlet if you feel that the plug isn’t strong enough to stay in the outlet. This is an indication that the outlet has worn out over time and the springs that hold the plug inside have loosened.

Sometimes, the wires which connect with the appliances loosen their grip resulting in a chance of short-circuiting.

Careful Use of Multiplugs

Using multiplug adapters is a common practice. Make sure to use one with a high load capacity. Overloading extensions may cause excessive electricity consumption through one circuit, resulting in problems like overheating and melting wires.

Always check the maximum load capacity of multiplugs for proper usage and distribution of electricity.

Do not run extension cables underneath a rug or carpet as this may cause overheating. Instead, run the extra wires through a concealed channel against the wall.

Conduct Inspection of Circuits and Devices

Once- or twice-yearly electrical inspections by professional electricians are as essential as a doctor’s appointment. This inspection helps a lot with detecting anything faulty in wirings, outlets, or electrical devices.

A home electrical inspection can help you avoid future problems with your electrical system, such as malfunctions and fires.

Faulty insulations are caused mostly by pests and rodents that might chew off the insulation. Timely pest control is also recommended as rats are known for gnawing at electrical wires and circuits, causing them to be damaged and short.

Avoid Using Near Water and Heat Source

Running cords and wires near water is hazardous. Water spillage can cause electric shock and short circuits. Placing appliances near heat sources causes moisture to gather on the inside, resulting in malfunctioning and damage.

It’s better to not use hair dryers and trimmers in bathrooms as the floors are usually wet and thus prone to danger.

Limit Usage During Storms

We advise limiting your use of electricity during a lightning storm to the absolute necessities only. The overwhelming amount of electricity produced in a lightning strike can cause serious damage if it strikes an electrical circuit that is on.

If you are building a home, then consider the following measures for better safety and prevention:

Install Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are necessary to restrict the flow of too much current through the circuit. They are designed to automatically trip when too much power passes through the circuit.

Installing fuses is also a good way to avoid any uninterrupted current and the damages it could bring.

Proper Earth Wiring

Earth wiring is a connection from a circuit to the ground. The primary purpose is to guard against damage to electrical instruments or appliances brought on by sudden voltage increases or leaks. While properly wiring the circuits in the house, earthing is necessary.

Install Lightning Conductor

Buildings are shielded from lightning strikes by lightning conductors. These are metal rods that are mounted on a structure and placed on top of a building.

A lightning conductor’s function is to provide lightning with a low resistance path to the ground so that it can pass through without damaging any physical structures or electric circuits.

Use Three-Prong Outlets

A three-prong outlet is capable of taking more electricity than a two-pronged one. It’s used to ensure that electrical appliances can be safely supplied with electricity while properly grounded. Plugs with three prongs help prevent electric shock. Make sure all outlets are tested before planting for proper load coverage and usability.

Final Advice

There are safety precautions already in place in your home that guards against short circuits that could cause major electrical issues. However, these are only reliable if they are working properly and maintained.

Apart from taking proper measures, you may also opt for insurance to financially cover yourself against accidents caused by short circuits.

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.