Electrical Fire Prevention
A recent report from the National Fire Protection Association says US Fire departments respond to an estimated 48,000 electrical-related fires annually. Many electrical fires in the home or workplace are the result of faulty circuits, overloaded outlets, or electrical failures. In fact, some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as a factor contributing to ignition for 74 percent of residential fires. December and January are the peak months for electrical fires; this spike can be attributed to the increased amount of time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating, and other appliances. Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken. Review the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire:
- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
- Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets. Consider having additional outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.