Over 50,000 electrical fires occur throughout American homes every year, 69% of which result from faulty or damaged wiring or other electrical equipment. Home electrical fires cause approximately $1.3 billion in property damage annually, more than 1,400 serious injuries, and nearly 500 fatalities. Thankfully, most of these fires can be prevented by practicing common sense safety precautions and teaching your family members to do the same. With the safety and well-being of your loved ones at stake, follow these important household electrical safety tips:
- Make sure you are using the proper wattage in your light fixtures and appliances.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets by never using extension cords for appliances or plugging in more than one heat-producing appliance into an outlet.
- Check power cords regularly for indications of fraying or cracking. Repair or replace damaged cords immediately.
- Do not staple power cords into place or run them beneath rugs or furniture, as this can crush the insulation, damaged wires, and cause the cords to overheat.
- Safely store your cords when not in use—ideally somewhere that cannot be reached by children or pets, who can play with or chew on them. Do not wrap cords tightly around objects or place them on a hot surface.
- Unplug appliances when you are not using them to prevent overheating and power surges.
- Keep all electrical equipment and devices away from water and always make sure your hands are dry before working with them.
- Maintain proper space around your appliances to allow for proper air circulation. A gas or electric dryer should be a minimum of one foot away from the wall.
- If you use portable heaters, place them on a stable surface and keep them away from drapes or other flammable household items.
- Always read the instructions for appliances before using them.
The only way to guarantee the safety of your home’s electrical system is to contact Electrical Insight to schedule an electrical safety inspection. Our team of experienced residential electricians can conduct a thorough inspection of your home to ensure all your electrical components are running safely.