Respect the Power: Prevent Electrical Fire
Electrical failure or malfunction is a leading cause of home fires each year. Knowledge and awareness are the keys to protecting your family from these fires.
Common causes of electrical fire
- Faulty outlets and old wiring
- Frayed cords and damaged plugs, receptacles or switches
- Light fixtures and light bulbs
- Misuse of electric cords by overloading circuits or running cords under rugs or in places where they can become damaged.
Simple safety tips
- Use surge protectors or power strips with internal overload protection and regularly check to see they are not worn or frayed at the ends.
- Never force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Insert plugs fully and don't overload extension cords or wall sockets.
- Plug major and small appliances directly into the wall outlet. Unplug small appliances when not in use.
- Buy appliances with a label from a recognized testing laboratory.
- Use light bulbs that match or are less than the recommended wattage on the lamp or light fixture. Compare lumens--CFLs or LEDs give you the same or more light for less wattage.
- Replace electric tools or appliances if they overheat, short out or spark. Don't try to repair damaged electrical cords yourself.
- Call a qualified electrician when:
- Your home's fuses blow or circuit breaker trips repeatedly
- Electric appliances cause a shock when touched or you notice a burning smell when they're plugged in
- Wall outlets are warm to the touch
- Wall outlets are discolored
- Lights flicker often
- You see sparks from a wall outlet or have cracked or broken outlets