According to the National Fire Protection Association, faulty wiring and damaged electrical cords account for roughly ¼ of the estimated 81,000 electrical fires that occur every year. Improperly used extension cords or too many devices sharing an outlet can overload the system and create a hazard. Here are a few tips for electrical safety in the home.
Electrical Safety Tips
Keep Extension Cords out of High Traffic Areas
Extension cords that are stretched across doorways and under rugs are a tripping hazard. Covered cords may also overheat, causing a fire. Choosing the wrong size extension cord for an appliance can also lead to short circuits and fire. If you find that you often use extension cords, hire a professional to install more outlets. An electrician will install extra power sources and upgrade your fuse box. Cords that are damaged or frayed are dangerous and should be discarded immediately.
Unplug Appliances that Aren’t in Use to Improve Electrical Safety in the Home
Devices like microwaves and coffee makers continue to draw power even when they are not turned on. If you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it until you need it.
Know Where Your Breaker Box Is
As a homeowner, you should know where your electrical panel is and how to shut off the power in an emergency. Your electrical panel will have fuses or breakers labeled with the areas they power: living room, bedroom, upstairs hallway, laundry room, etc. Your main switch that shuts off all power to the home should also be clearly marked.
Make Use of Surge Protectors for Electrical Safety in the Home
Computers and other important devices should be plugged into a surge protector. In the event your home experiences a lightning strike, the surge protector will protect your electronics. Surge protectors work similarly to your fuse box. An overloaded strip will trip the breaker and cut all power, so as not to damage equipment or cause a fire.
Being prepared and learning about fire safety can save a life. These electrical safety tips reduce your risk of fire and will keep you and your family safe.