Steps to Preventing Home Electrical Fires
Electrical fires in the home can be a catastrophe, destroying your property and putting your loved ones at risk. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) estimates that 47,000 home fires in the United States happen because of electrical failure or malfunction every year. Luckily, if you take the right precautions, they are easy to prevent. To keep everyone in your home safe, follow these steps.
8 Steps to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home
1. Don't Overload Your Electrical Outlets
Never overstimulate your electrical outlets. If you are overloading your electrical outlets, you'll probably notice a number of signs, including:
- A circuit breaker that is always tripping
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Getting a shock when you touch a switch or appliance
- Wall plates that are warm or changing color
- Sizzling or buzzing sound
2. Check the Plugs on Your Appliances
Over time, the cords on your electronics or other appliances can begin to wear down. In some cases, this exposes the wire, which can catch cause a conductor to catch fire if it touches it. Replace worn, frayed, or damaged electrical cords right away.
3. Hire a Certified Electrician to Replace Old Wiring
Many homes more than 40 years old have ancient knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring that pose a major fire hazard. Never try to replace this yourself; instead, rely on the professionals, so you can get the job done right.
4. Be Mindful of Flammable Materials
Having flammable materials around your home obviously won't be good if there is an electrical fire. Therefore, be sure to store these in a safe and isolated location. Invest in a storage cabinet approved by the NFPA and always keep flammables on low shelves. Here are some liquids you always want to store properly:
- Motor oil
5. Use Surge Protectors
Surge protectors are essential because they immediately cut the supply of electricity in the event of an overload. This prevents the electricity from overwhelming whatever device is plugged in and frying it.
6. Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries
Just in case you ever do experience a fire, you need to be ready. Having a smoke detector that doesn't work could waste vital minutes. Make sure you're notified at the first signs of a fire by always keep your smoke detector loaded with fresh batteries.
7. Ensure Electrical Components Are Kept Dry
This should be obvious, but never expose any part of your electrical system to water. Water is a conductor, so it can produce a deadly shock or spark a fire that will engulf your home.
8. Use the Right Cords
Always make sure you're using the appropriate cord. Never try to stretch an extension cord further than is possible, as this poses both a fire and tripping hazard.
Save Big Jobs for the Professionals
At the end of the day, there is only so much a YouTube tutorial can show you about working on your home's electrical components. Instead of chancing something as important as this, leave big jobs for the professionals.
Don't be afraid to trust David Gray Electrical Services. We're here to help you keep your home safe and assist with your electrical needs.