According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 451,000 residential fires occur every year. One third is caused because of problems in a home’s electrical system.
Some of the causes for electric fires are:
- Faulty and old wiring
- Misuse of extension cords
- Faulty electrical appliances
- Overuse of electricity, especially around Christmas
- Short circuit and poor maintenance
It is also a fact that electrical wiring problems cause twice as many fires as faulty electrical appliances.
However, adopting a few of the following safety measures can reduce the risk of an electrical fire:
- If your house is very old, hire a licensed and competent electrician to have the entire wiring updated.
- Use extension cords sensibly – never run the cords under rugs or in places where they run the risk of being crushed, stepped on or pulled.
- Ensure not to overload outlets. If you feel the need to add more outlets, hire an electrician.
- Have your electric circuits checked to ensure they are not overloaded.
- Make sure to unplug electrical appliances such as toasters, coffee makers and microwave ovens when not in use.
- When doing holiday decorations, ensure a safe environment by monitoring circuits to check if they are overloaded.
Other Safety Tips for Your Home:
- Use the right light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures.
- Don’t tie or knot cords. Also make sure the furniture doesn’t sit on cords.
- Unplug toaster ovens, coffee makers and hair dryers and other small appliances after using them.
- The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI.)This protects you and your loved ones from a dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. Ask your electrician to install a GFCI at your home.
- Don’t plug in several appliances at one time.
- Make sure all electrical outlets and switches are covered by “faceplates”.
- Don't use an electric heater in the bathroom unless it is designed for bathroom use.
- Do not attach swings, clothes lines, hanging baskets, etc. around beams that have electrical wires attached.
- If the cords are damaged and the wires are exposed, do not use them. You must either repair or replace. Check items regularly.
- Always ensure that electrical items are approved standard when purchasing.
If you still have questions about your home’s electrical safety, call us for an inspection today!