A home electrical fire can wipe out everything. According to statistics, almost 60,000 electrical fires happen each year and many of them are a result of a simple issue that could have been remedied. Many of these fires are a result of having too many electronics and gadgets plugged into one electrical cord or power strip – and some of these fires are simply caused by faulty wiring. Just one spark can start a devastating fire that could have no mercy in its wake. Here are some electrical fire prevention tips for homeowners.
- Always unplug items before you leave town for the weekend or for a holiday. When you are not home, you are not around to notice the immediate warning signs of an electrical fire, like smoke or sparking. As a result, you cannot spring into action. So, in order to avoid this issue, you want to take measures to unplug all items in your home before you leave town. You should also unplug major appliances, like your refrigerator and stove – if it is electric.
- Repair any outlets that spark or smoke when you plug items in. The first sign of a faulty outlet is a sparking sound – followed by black smoke. An outlet could also be dangerous if it does nothing at all, because that could mean that it is only hanging on by a few threads. So, make sure that you repair and replace any outlets that have this issue. In most cases, a faulty outlet is a simple fix and won’t cost too much money. If you are a renter, be sure to call your landlord or property manager. Not only can a faulty outlet be a fire hazard, it could also cause electrical shocks.
- Make sure that you turn off any appliances that are unused, but are plugged into a power strip. Power strips can be a convenient way to plug more than a few items into a single outlet, but most outlets don’t have the kind of capacity that all those appliances need, so it often going into overdrive to compensate. As a result, the power strip can end up overheating, causing a spark and then catching fire. So, make sure to mind your power strips.
- Keep electrical appliances and items away from water. As you may know, water and electricity don’t mix. When it comes to electrical fires, water can be a great conductor to get the sparks flying. If one of those sparks catches something flammable, like a curtain or paper, your house could go up in smoke. So, make sure to be careful about mixing water and major appliances.
- Have your entire electrical system inspected. Having an annual inspection by an electrical company, like 123 Electric Service, will allow you to rest easy knowing that your entire electrical system is safe and sound. An inspector will make sure there are no faulty wires and he or she may also point out various fire risks around your home. In the end, safety means being hyper-vigilant and aware, especially when it comes to preventing electrical fires.