The first news many of us saw upon waking this morning was of the apartment fire in London. If you are like most homeowners this sight was not only terrifying but thought provoking. What happened? Did someone leave a candle burning? Was there an explosion? Was there an electrical fire?
Although the cause of the fire has not been revealed at this point, we do know that there are over 5000 electrical fires in the US each year. So, as a homeowner how can we lessen the risk?
How To Avoid An Electrical Fire
- Check Electrical Outlets: Check for loose-fitting plugs. These could be both a shock hazard and the cause of an electrical fire. Be sure to have loose outlets replaced and to replace any broken or missing wall plates. Wires should never be left exposed, but this is especially true if you have small children.
- Never Force Plugs: If you are having a difficult time plugging something in this could be a sign that is something wrong with the plug itself. Don’t force the plug. In addition, don’t overload an outlet. Outlets are only designed to produce so much power, overloading the outlet could cause a shortage at best or in the worst-case scenario, a fire.
- Check Your Cords: Cords fray over time. Be sure to check all of your cords, looking for any exposed wires. This is especially true of cords that are under carpets or furniture. A single spark could turn into a big fire within minutes.
- Extension Cords: Extension cords are not meant to be used as a permanent solution. Use them sparingly and carefully.
- Appliances: If you get a new appliance and it repeatedly trips a breaker, chances are that outlet is not meant to handle the power needed to run the appliance. Unplug it and call us. We can help you replace it or rewire your circuit panel box to handle the appliance. Many older circuit breaker boxes need replacing because they are being asked to handle more capacity than ever.
- Electrical Safety Inspection: We can perform a total electrical safety inspection of your home. Let us help you keep your home and your family safe. Read more about what a safety inspection entails here.