Fire Prevention Week 2011 – Electrical Safety

Day 6 of Fire Prevention Week. Today we”re going to focus on electrical safety.

Did you know the top causes of electrical fires are faulty electrical systems, lamps/light fixtures/light bulbs, and extension cords? Electrical fires contribute on average 24,000 home fires per year with approximately 320 fatalities and 830 injuries.

Follow these tips to minimize the chance of electrical fires occurring in your home.

  • Consider hiring a qualified electrician to conduct an inspection of your entire electrical system when buying or making renovations to your home.
  • Have a qualified electrician vist your home if circuit breakers trip or fuses blow frequently, experience any tingling when touching appliances, outlet are warm or discolored, lights are flickering, and sparks are coming from outlets.
  • Replace damaged electrical cords and power supply units.
  • Don”t run extension cords under carpets, mats, or doorways. Don”t rely on extension cords to be a permanent power solution. Consider additional electrical outlets if feasible.
  • If you have young children provide tamper covers for all electrical outlets.
  • Dont”t overload electrical outlets. Any type of heat generating appliance (hair dryer, coffee maker, toaster, etc.), should be plugged in one at a time directly to the electrical receptacle.
  • Lamps should be placed on sturdy level surfaces. Never hang or place anything on top of, or near lamps and light fixtures. Radian heat from lamps or fixtures are a potential ignition source to start fire. Make sure replacement bulbs and fixtures match the recommended wattage.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) provide protection from electrical shock. GFCIs should be provided in all bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, basement, and outdor areas.
  • Consider installing Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs are designed to continuously monitor electrical current in a circuit and minimize the potential of arcing as a potential ignition source. IF the AFCI detects any unintended arcing it will trip and shutdown the circuit.
  • Join us our last day tomorrow as Fire Prevention Week 2011 comes to a successful conclusion.

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