Did you know? Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of house fires. This can happen due to faulty wires, an overuse of electricity, malfunctioning appliances, and more. Because we all, of course, use electricity daily, it’s important to keep safety a top priority to avoid an electrical fire that could cause major damage to your home, and yourself. We’ve rounded up a few tips to keep in mind when using electricity around the house to prevent a potential fire.
- Use surge protectors
Firstly, it’s important to note that surge protectors and power strips are not the same! Power strips simply allow you to utilize more outlets, but surge protectors actually protect against voltage spikes which could cause damage to your electronics and appliances, as well as cause a fire. Also, only use extension cords temporarily, and not for extended periods of time.
- Unplug appliances when not in use
While this, of course, doesn’t apply to larger appliances like your washer and dryer or refrigerator, unplugging appliances when not in use reduces the amount of electricity being used and therefore helps to avoid power surges. The types of appliances you should unplug? Think: toasters, hairdryers, phone chargers, and electric kitchen mixers. Oh, we should also mention that doing this will reduce your use of electricity, and potentially lower your electric bill, too!
- Keep wires away from furniture and carpets
A lot of times to avoid the look of exposed wires, people will hide them under carpets or furniture. The danger with this, however, is that wires can become frayed and if they do, it can cause a fire when covered by carpet or if it’s too close to furniture. Additionally, nailing or stapling wires to the wall or floor can interfere with the electric current and lead to an electrical hazard or fire. And, most obviously, wires should be kept far away from any source of water!
- Use the right light bulb for a fixture
When it comes to light bulbs, one size does not fit all! Always check the wattage needed for a certain fixture before installing one. Using a light bulb with the improper wattage is an electrical hazard and can cause a fire. Also, make sure that light bulbs are securely screwed in—if they’re not, it can lead to overheating which, again, can cause a fire.
- Stay alert
Regularly keeping an eye on your appliances, electrical sockets, and wires can also prevent a fire. Some things to always keep in mind are: burn marks around an electrical socket, a power cord that feels hot to the tough, sparks when a device is plugged in, lights flickering after you’ve changed the bulb, and frequent breaker trips or blown fuses.
If an electrical fire does occur in your home or business, dial 911 immediately. If damage has occurred, we’re here for you. Our technicians are IICRC certified in smoke and fire damage restoration and will get your home (or business!) back to feeling like paradise.