Electrical fire safety should always be a top priority in your home and the people who live there. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), electrical failures and malfunctions account for 13 percent of home fires, making it the second leading cause of home fires behind negligence. With 18 percent of civilian deaths caused by these types of fires, it is crucial to be aware of the potential hazards in your home and to take the proper precautionary steps.
Use extension cords sparingly
If you overload your extension cords you run the risk for starting an electrical fire. You should only use extension cords as a temporary plug, instead of a continuous source of power. When your extension cords are not in use, you should store them in a safe place to prevent damage. Keeping your cords away from pets or heating sources help prevent stretching, chewing or other wire damage that could result in overheating and/or a fire. Additionally, you should replace any cords that appear to have any damage or wiring issues.
Don’t overload your outlets
By plugging too many devices into a power outlet you can overwork your electrical system, which could lead to a fire or even mini explosion. To prevent this you should use an energy-saving power strip, but do not plug multiple power strips into the same outlet as that could also result in an electrical fire.
Unplug your appliances
The easiest way to protect your home from electrical fires is by unplugging your appliances when they are not in use or when no one is home. Home electrical fires account for approximately $1.4 billion in property damage every year, according to the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), so by unplugging your appliances you not only prevent power surges but also avoid the hassle of filing a homeowners insurance claim!
Keep your outlets and smoke detectors up-to-date
Checking the wiring and shock protectors in your outlets and testing your smoke detectors monthly can be the difference between life and death. Unfortunately fires happen at unexpected moments, and part of fire prevention is making sure your home’s necessary equipment is working properly.
Water and electronics do not mix
Water conducts electricity; storing your electronic appliances away from any water source is key in preventing accidental electrocution. For the same reason, you should also always make sure your hands are dry before using any electric appliances, such as a hair dryer or electric blankets.
Some other preventative measures you can take against home electrical fires are:
- Yearly whole-home electrical system inspections
- Don’t place extension cords or wiring under rugs
- Use weatherproof electrical devices when outside
- Match light bulb to the recommended light fixture wattage
- Install electric socket protectors in homes with small children or pets
Home electric system problems are one of the most common causes of home structural fires every year. In order to keep your home and loved ones safe from any dangerous electrical issues, make sure to keep an electrical fire safety checklist. If you have yet to have your home’s electrical system inspected by an electrician in Port St. Lucie this year, schedule an appointment with My Electrician today.