7 Safety Tips on Avoiding Electrical Fires
One of the greatest threats to the safety of your home is poor electrical wiring. Every year, about 51,000 fires are caused by faulty wiring, putting the average death toll at around 500 and causing over a trillion dollars in property damage. Over half of electrical fires are caused by arcing faults in the wiring system, which often go by undetected until it is too late.
Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to keep you and your home safe from the dangers of electrical fire. Here are just a few tips that can help you avoid electrical fires from occurring.
1. Have Your Wires Checked
Aside from outlets and switches, most of your home’s electrical components are hidden behind walls. As a result, most homeowners tend to ignore the wiring in their walls. Years of neglect can cause deterioration in the wires from getting noticed until it’s too late. By having qualified electricians check your home’s wiring every few years, it’s possible to spot electrical problems before they turn into a serious fire hazard.
2. Replace Old Wiring
If you live in an older house there’s a good chance that the electrical components of the home are already too old to be considered safe. Old wires can have brittle insulation, making them more likely to get exposed and cause short circuits. Furthermore, outdated electrical components might not be up to today’ standards and get overloaded. Get help from an electrician in deciding whether your home’s electrical system needs to be replaced or not.
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Outlets
Do you always have to use extension cords to accommodate all your electric appliances? Are your appliances stuck to one side of the room because there’s not enough outlets to plug into? Not having enough outlets are not only inconvenient, but also runs the risk of putting too much load on a single outlet. Overloading can cause the wires to heat up and the insulation can either melt or burn. That being said, you should also try to minimize the use of extension cords.
4. Take Care of Your Plugs and Cords
Sometimes, it’s not the wiring that causes the problem. Plugging a plug with bent prongs runs the risk of causing a short circuit even if the outlet and wiring is in perfect shape. Using appliances with frayed power cords can also get grounded, plus it also poses a serious safety risk to the people using the appliance. You can prevent damage to your plugs by holding it properly when inserting or pulling them out. You should also keep the cords safe from getting stepped on to minimize wear and tear.
5. Check Your Lights
Using light bulbs that do not have the proper wattage can also pose a serious risk of causing overloading or short-circuiting. For example, 60W sockets can only accommodate 60W light bulbs or lower. Any higher runs the risk of overheating or even exploding, leading to electrical fires.
6. Childproof Your Outlets
It’s good when children are curious, but not when they’re curious enough to play around with the electrical outlets. Aside from exposed outlets posing a serious electrical hazard to children, random objects stuck in an outlet can easily cause a short circuit. If you have children at home, make sure all unused outlets are properly covered.
7. Use Smoke Detectors
Even with the best care and wiring, there’s still a chance that an electrical fire can occur. However, you can still minimize the damage to your home if you spot the fire early enough. Since electrical fires can happen in any part of the home, experts recommend using one smoke detector for each room or area in your home.
Handy Crew is the leading provider of electrician services in Orange County. Our team of highly-skilled and licensed electricians can provide various electrical services ranging from inspection, installation, and repairs. Give us a call and learn more about how to keep your home safe from electrical fires.