June 12, 2013

Around the House: Fire Away

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, residential electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. During an average year, residential electrical problems are the cause of 26,100 fires as well as $1 billion in property losses.

With June rolling in and bringing National Safety Month along with it, taking the precautionary measures needed to prevent electrical fires is an action Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric encourages for all homeowners. Learn how to prevent electrical fires.

A majority of preventable electrical fires are due to misuse of electric cords, such as overloading circuits, poor maintenance, and running the cords under rugs or in busy areas. Faulty electrical outlets and old wiring are also a common cause of electrical fires. Issues with extension and appliance cords, plugs, light fixtures, lamps, light bulbs, receptacles and switches have also been known to cause residential electrical fires.

Applewood Heating Plumbing & Electric recommends taking these easy precautions to prevent electrical fires and increase the safety in your home:

  • Check to ensure you have working smoke alarms as well as practicing a home fire escape plan periodically with your family.
  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring to ensure no damage as occurred.
  • When purchasing appliances, check for the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Know that extension cords are meant for temporary use only.
  • Do not use an extension cord to operate major and small appliances.
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug never force it into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Only use surge protectors or power strips that have inner overload protection.
  • Keep easily flammable items such as clothes and curtains at least three feet from all portable electric space heaters.
  • Only use light bulbs that match the suggested wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • Try to keep your cords in the best shape possible. To do so, avoid putting them where they can be damaged by furniture, under rugs or across doorways.

Electrical work is complex and should only be performed by a licensed electrician. Seek professional services if you have recurring problems such as blowing fuses, a shock or tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance, warm wall outlets or switches and sparks from a wall outlet. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric employs only Colorado licensed electricians who can help with any concerns about your home’s electrical system. We hope our tips help you prevent electrical fires.

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