Electricity is a double-edged sword – it is both a necessary part of modern life as well as a safety hazard if not handled carefully. Since electricity produces heat, it may start a fire under certain circumstances. However, the risk of electrical fires and electrical shocks can be drastically reduced by following a number of simple rules. Here are several ways to avoid electrical hazards in homes:
- Checking the cords of all appliances regularly. Frayed or loose cords should be replaced or repaired. Running cords under rugs or furniture is to be avoided.
- Keeping cords away from heat sources, such as radiator, oven, candles or fireplace, as well as from water.
- Plugging major appliances directly into outlets, whenever possible. Additional outlets or circuits should be installed in the home to avoid using extension cords.
- Plugging only one high-wattage appliance into an outlet at a time. Too many plugs into an outlet can be a safety hazard.
- Checking the temperature of outlets, switches and cords. If they are warm to the touch, cords should be unplugged as soon as possible.
- If there are children living in the home, adults must ensure that the electrical receptacles are tamper-resistant.
- Using only the type of light bulbs specified by the manufacturer in a light fixture. The recommended bulb wattage for a fixture or lamp should not be exceeded.
- If there are dim, flickering or surging lights in the home, homeowners should turn them off immediately and call a certified electrician.
- Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in the bathroom, laundry room, basement and outdoors. These devices are designed to protect people from electrical shock. Additionally, installing Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) can prevent electrical fires.
Learning about the most common causes of electrical fires in a home can also help homeowners prevent fires. For those who are working outdoors, here are a number of important outdoor electrical safety tips. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.