Electricity and Fire Hazards: How Safe is Your Home?

Posted on Apr 22 2018 - 1:00am by Ann Gillispie

Tangled extension cordsKeeping your home safe involves more than just installing home security systems or keeping chemicals and cleaning products out of children’s reach. While both are beneficial, you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to other dangers, like electrical problems and home fires. According to a 2016 statistics from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one home structure fire was reported every 90 seconds.

Unattended cooking is a major contributing factor, followed by heating equipment and electrical distribution (which includes wiring, switches, plugs, and outlets). Electrical failures, the NFPA suggest, were factors in 13% of home fires. This only makes it important to be aware of hidden fire hazards at home, as well as a few fire safety tips.

  • Don’t overload the outlets. Overloaded circuits are one of the leading causes of residential fires. If you heavily depend on extension cords, it is a clear sign that you don’t have enough outlets to accommodate your needs. Contact an electrician to check your home and add new outlets.
  • Look for loose plugs. Inspect your outlets and look for loose-fitting plugs. If you find one, be sure to have it repaired, as it’s a major risk for home fires. Electrical service companies in Salt Lake City noted that it’s also ideal to consider replacing an old one or a faulty two-prong receptacle.
  • Have a professional inspect your electrical panels. Hire a licensed electrician for regular electrical maintenance, which includes an annual inspection of electrical panels. Look for unusual signs of wear and tear and make sure that electricity is safely flowing throughout your home (indoors and outdoors).
  • Make sure your outlets are up-to-date. Many old homes do not have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where they’re needed the most, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. GFCIs are special devices designed to protect you from electrical shocks. It’s recommended to hire a pro when installing a GFCI outlet.
  • Watch out for dust bunnies. Dust accumulation near floor heaters and electrical sockets can cause sparks that may lead to fires. You can prevent dust buildup by sweeping or vacuuming regularly. Don’t forget to clean hard-to-reach areas.
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Keep your home a safer place with these electrical safety tips. Don’t hesitate to hire a licensed electrician for electrical repairs and jobs, instead of trying to figure it out on your own.