Home electrical fires account for around 51,000 fires each year and result in greater money loss than any other type of fire. However, electrical fires in the home or workplace can usually be prevented. Here are some ways you can prevent electrical fires in your home:
- Test the smoke detectors in your home monthly and make sure they are installed on every level and in every bedroom.
- Make sure the light bulbs you are using match the wattage recommended on the light fixture.
- Look and listen for unusual buzzing and sizzling sounds from your electrical system and breakers. Report anything unusual to a qualified electrician right away.
- Never use extension cords with space heaters or air conditioning units.
- Keep your stovetop and oven clean. Be sure to also clean the exhaust hood over the stove regularly.
- Replace missing or broken wall plates so that wiring is not exposed.
- Do not nail or staple cords to walls or other objects.
- If an appliance in your home repeatedly blows a fuse or gives you a shock, unplug it immediately and have it repaired or replaced.
- Consider having GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interpreters) installed in your home if you do not have them already.
- Keep any electrical equipment oil and dust free to prevent overheating.
- Only purchase appliances from established manufacturers.
- Keep young children and pets away from power cords.
- Have your home electrical system thoroughly inspected by a qualified electrician to make sure your home meets safety standards.
For more information on electrical fire safety from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), click here.