Electrical distribution systems are the 3rd leading cause of house fires according to the Electrical Saftey Foundation International (ESFI). Electronics have become ingrained in our everyday lives; from smartphones and tablets to televisions and gaming systems. This addition of technology puts an added strain on our home's electrical system and poses a risk of fire if not handled properly. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that electrical fires are most common in the bedroom, attic, and kitchen. Follow these tips to keep your home and family safe.
Warning Signs of an Electrical Malfunction
- Discolored or warm outlets.
- Frequent issues with blowing fuses or tripping breakers.
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- A tingling feeling when touching an electric appliance.
- Unusual crackling or buzzing noises coming from appliances.
- Sparks emitted from the outlet or electrical device.
- Cords that are warm to the touch.
Electrical Fire Safety Tips
- Check for frayed or broken cords and replace as soon as discovered.
- Pull the plug from the base, not the cord to reduce wear and tear.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time. This includes units like microwaves, hair dryers, and space heaters.
- Do not overload outlets. Major appliances such as refrigerators should be the only unit plugged into an outlet.
- When using a space heater, maintain at least 3 feet of space from any flammable materials such as clothing and bedding. Never use a space heater with an extension cord.
- Extension cords are only intended for temporary use. If you find you're using them all the time, contact a professional electrician to install more outlets.
- Do not run extension cords under carpeting as this can cause them damage or overheating.
- Check light fixtures to make sure the bulb wattage does not exceed the fixture's recommended maximum.
- Test arc circuit fault interrupters (AFCIs)and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) once a month to ensure they are working.
Have your home inspected by a certified electrician if you suspect an electrical malfunction. If the worst happens, call us to get you back to normal fast.