Electrical safety begins with preventative maintenance. Designing your electrical system before the house is constructed is the best way to make sure that no emergencies arise as a result of poor poor planning, but steps can be taken to prevent electrical problems even if you move into an older house. Make a checklist of potential hazards that might directly affect the nature of your household inhabitants and direct the preventative maintenance toward those needs.
Make sure that your circuit has the capacity for powering all the electric appliances you may need running at once. This means a current capable of running the refrigerator constantly while also being powerful enough to run a dishwasher, clothes dryer, computers and televisions without overloading the circuit.
Ensure that you have enough sockets in each room that you won’t have to rely on overloading an outlet by using extension cords. Today’s bedroom may need a two plugs for lamps, a plug for a computer and printer, a plug for a TV and converter box and a plug for a clock or radio. You will also want to have at least one free wall outlet for miscellaneous needs like pugging in a hair dryer.
If you are moving into an older home, try to find out how old the wiring is and the last time it was checked. A home that is more than two decades old may need some or all wiring replaced in order to bring it up to current code and you should then have your wiring checked about every five years.
If you are planning to have children when you move into a new home, one of the most effective means of preventative maintenance is to pre-childproof your outlets. Position wall outlets, switches and controls higher up on the wall so that they are out of reach.
If you or other residents are elderly, be judicious in your use of extension cords. These cords can present tripping dangers for the unsteady, the frail or those with bad sight. It only takes one little extension cord to require a trip to the emergency room for a broken wrist or a trip to the operating room for hip replacement surgery. If you have to use extension cords, make sure you do so safely.
Consider the idea of installing ductwork to control the routes of your wiring. Not only will doing this make the wiring system safer and easier, but it will also make it easier to upgrade. The homes of the future will have greater control over the use of electricity and a network of ducts will make upgrading your wiring much easier than a standard system of electrical wiring.