This article outlines easy steps you can take to prevent electrical fires in your house and help prevent property damage and potential death.
Are you aware that each year, there are 67,800 electrical fires in the home that take the lives of 485 citizens, hurt 2,305 more people, and cause $868 million dollars in property loss*? Some electrical fires are caused by lightning and faulty appliances, but considerably a lot more are caused by old wiring, misuse of extension cords, and overloaded circuits. In fact, bad electrical wiring (perhaps done by do-it-your-selfers) causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances. While it is usually best to have any electrician work done by a licensed electrician, there are a lot of things you can do in the home to help keep your family safe.
Basic stats to consider
December is the time of year when a lot of electrical fires tend to occur.
Almost all electrical wiring fires begin in the bedroom.
In the cold months, deaths due to electrical fires are much higher. This is usually due to the increased amount of indoor activities, increased lighting needs, heating, and appliance use.
In urban areas, poor wiring is the cause of over 33% of residential electrical fires.
The home appliances most involved in home electrical fires are central heating units, electric ovens, dryers, televisions, radios, and stereo equipment.
These are some simple steps you can take to help prevent electrical fires in the house
Carefully Think about any Do-It-Yourself electrical project. It is always to have any electrician work done by a journeyman electrician.
NEVER run an extension cord under a carpet! The foot and chair traffic across the area rug will over time cut through the cord, causing an immediate fire hazard.
Small space heaters are the cause of a lot of fires. Keep clothing, draperies, and any combustible material a minimum of three feet away from space heaters at all times.
Always check all lamp cords, extension cords regularly, and look for signs of overheating, frayed insulation, or bent prongs. Always replace all worn or damaged electrical cords immediately.
Routinely check all of your appliances, especially where the cord attaches, and look for signs of worn wiring.
Never let kids play with or near electrical appliances such as space heaters, hair dryers, or irons.
Never force a 3 prong plug into a two prong socket.
Never overload extension cords or outlets.
If you find a light switch that is warm to the touch, or the lights flicker when using the switch, call a journeyman electrician and replace it at once.