Six Simple Ways to Avoid Electrical Fires
While you may think electrical safety is an over-discussed topic, the fact remains that over 25,000 electrical fires per year still happen in the U.S. While this accounts for only 6.5% to 8% of all home fires according to FEMA’s most recent data, the number is still far too high. This is especially true given that many of these fires were avoidable had the correct steps been taken to prevent them. Custom Electrical Solutions wants you to be aware of these simple, low-cost or no-cost steps you can take to prevent such a tragedy from happening to you.
Get an Annual Safety Inspection
Whether you own a home or a business property, there are a ton of details surrounding your electrical system that you can’t be expected to keep up with. This is where you call in a professional! From knowing how old your wiring is to determining the safety of your appliances, lights, and smoke alarms, a licensed safety inspector will ensure your property is up to par. Our experts combine extensive training with the right tools to check all your electrical systems. A visit only takes a couple hours at most and is a small annual investment with a huge return.
Ditch Dated Appliances
Does your blow dryer spark every time you plug it in? Is your microwave or blender tripping a breaker switch each time you use it? If so, these are ticking time bombs – accidents waiting to happen – and it’s time to get rid of them! A tripped breaker is more than just a nuisance, it’s a warning that something is wrong. Remember that while replacing a small appliance may be an unexpected cost, replacing a fire-damaged home is much greater and can be avoided.
Remove or Relocate Flammable Items
Drapes, carpets, bed sheets, and other flammable items in your home should always be kept well away from electrical outlets. While your outlets may not spark, electricity still generates heat. Even a small amount of heat generated at a steady rate is enough to cause a flammable item to catch fire and spread quickly.
Did You Turn the Coffee Pot Off?
While many small appliances like coffee makers and space heaters have built-in shut-off timers, many still do not. It is important to never leave items like these running when no one is in the room, or plugged in when they are not in use. This is especially true for electrical devices in the kitchen, as this is the most common place electrical fires start.
Watch Out for Water Sources
It is common knowledge that electricity and water do not mix. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to check that the outlets in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, and utility room are fitted with GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets. A GFCI outlet continuously monitors electrical current and will cut power in as little as 1/40 of a second should it detect an imbalance. As always, if you are unsure, call a professional!
Circuits are only designed to take so much of a load. While your circuits aren’t going to remind you that you probably shouldn’t try to plug that last device into your power strip, you should still use good judgment. Overburdened outlets can easily start a fire with the amount of heat they’ll generate. If you do need more outlets, it’s best to have a professional install additional wall outlets after ensuring your home can safely handle them.