Every year, there are nearly 50,000 home fires caused by poor home electrical safety. Between 2007 and 2011, house fires caused $1.5 billion in property damages and claimed 455 civilian lives. About half of these fires were caused by lighting equipment and outlet failures. The other half of home electrical fires involved major appliances, like washers and dryers, fans, and space heaters.
To keep your property and family protected at all times, follow these important home electrical safety tips from Kolb Electric.
Our Home Electrical Safety Tips
- Check electrical cords frequently for damage. Repair or replace damaged cords without delay to avoid possible shocks, short circuits, and fires.
- Avoid running extension cords across doorways where someone could trip over them or under carpets where they could overheat.
- Consider having an electrician add additional circuits or outlets if you find yourself using extension cords on a permanent basis.
- Only plug one high-wattage appliance into an outlet at a time to prevent overloading the outlet. An experienced electrician can help you install dedicated circuits for major appliances as well.
- Double check that you have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed in each bathroom, the kitchen, basement, laundry room, and outdoor areas. Make sure arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are installed to protect electrical outlets from dangerous arcing faults that could start a fire.
- Install surge protection to protect wiring and plugged-in appliances and electronics. On a smaller scale, plug computers and other sensitive electronics into surge protectors instead of directly into the wall.
- Don’t operate electrical appliances near water. A hair dryer or even a small radio is enough to create a spark and can even lead to electrocution.
- Never stick anything except electrical plugs into outlets. Teach your children not to put their fingers, toys, or metal objects near outlets. Install child-proof outlet covers on any outlets within a child’s reach as an extra precaution.
- Remember, even when an appliance is turned off, it’s still connected to electricity until you unplug it. That’s why you should always unplug an appliance before cleaning or repairing it. Also, unplug the toaster before attempting to remove a stuck piece of toast, and immediately unplug an appliance if the plug begins to spark.
- Set lamps on level, steady surfaces away from items that can catch fire such as drapes. Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage printed on the socket.
- Call an electrician right away if an outlet or switch feels warm, if you have problems with tripping circuits or blowing fuses, or if the lights often dim or flicker.
Kolb Electric Can Help You Ensure Home Electrical Safety in MD, VA & DC
At Kolb Electric, we want our Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC customers to exercise home electrical safety. No matter what electrical services you need, rely on Kolb Electric to deliver! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.