We all use and rely on electricity every day. But did you know that electrical fires are the 4th leading cause of home fires? With some simple safety tips, we can ensure our use of electricity is safe for our home by following these tips:
Any electrical work should be done by a professional.
Always have an electrician inspect your home when remodeling or purchasing.
Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as heaters, coffee makers, toasters, etc.) into any outlet at any time.
Larger appliances (dryers, refrigerators, stoves, etc.) should be plug straight into the wall. Never use an extension cord or plug strip.
Never use an extension cord with a major appliance - it can easily overheat and start a fire.
Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged, and loose electrical cords. Do not try to repair them.
Make sure no extension cords are under carpets or in doorways.
Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away. Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.
Do not overload power strips.
Use power strips that have internal overload protection.
Do not overload wall outlets.
Insert plugs fully into sockets.
Never force a three-prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children.
If you notice the following, call your electrician or landlord right away:
Continuous blowing circuits and tripping breakers
Rubber or burning smell from appliances
Sparks from outlets
Tingling in your fingers when touching an outlet or cord
Warm or discolored outlets
Video from FEMA on How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home