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10 Electrical Safety Tips | Fire Prevention Week

on October 4, 2015

Today marks Day 1 of NFPA’s National Fire Prevention Week, which is why we are focusing on electrical fire safety this week. Knowing the basics of your electrical system and where the most common safety hazards are is important for preventing home fires. All it takes is one mistake or oversight to cause an electrical fire.

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10 Electrical Safety Tips to Prevent Home Fires

  1. Make sure all electrical devices you purchase are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Check all cords and devices for damage, frays, kinks, and cracks. Never run cords in high-traffic areas or underneath rugs/carpets. Replace any faulty electrical products immediately.
  2. Test GFCi and AFCI outlets and breakers for proper functioning. Learn more about how AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters) can protect your from electrical fires.
  3. Do not overload outlets with adapters or power strips. Either find a new location for your cords/appliances or have a professional electrician install a new circuit or outlet to manage your electrical load.
  4. Use correct wattage bulbs for all your lighting fixtures. Keep fabric and other flammable objects/fumes away from all lighting and electrical devices. Make sure bulbs are screwed in tightly. Turn off your lighting fixture before replacing the bulb.
  5. Replace any electrical products that spark or cause mild electric shocks.
  6. Never attempt electrical repairs or rewiring on your own, except if you are properly certified to do so. If you are suspicious of your home’s electrical wiring, call a professional electrician to inspect the situation.
  7. Never put water on an electrical fire!! Use baking soda or a Class C (electrical) fire extinguisher:
    • ABC Dry Chemical (popular)
    • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    • Halotron
    • Halotron 1211
    • High Performance Dry Chemical
    • Regular Dry Chemical
    • Water Mist (Amerex Exclusive)
  8. Replace all light switch hot to the touch and any lights that tend to flicker.
  9. Never force anything into an outlet other than an appropriate sized plug. Do not try to fit a three-prong plug into a two-receptacle outlet.
  10. Know where your breaker box is and how to operate it. Make sure your breakers are properly marked for convenience and safety. Click here to get to know electrical panel in 4 simple steps.

In the unfortunate case of an electrical fire or injury, call 911 or the fire department immediately and evacuate the premises. To maintain a safe and efficient electrical system, it is important to schedule an electrical safety inspection every year.

Awareness and observation of electrical hazards is important for keeping your home and family safe from fires. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep,” emphasizing the importance of working smoke alarms. Make sure to check and test all of your smoke alarms in your home! Smoke alarms should be installed “in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms” (nfpa.org).

Refer to this infographic from esfi.org for more fire prevention tips:

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Call Mainstream Electric at 866-411-ZAPP (9277) for professional electrical inspections and repairs!

For more electrical safety information, read our other blogs on the topic:

Choose Smart! Call the Company with Heart! 866-411-ZAPP (9277)

For more information on home and business electrical inspections, visit Mainstream Electric online.

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