Next to cooking and heating, electrical causes are a common cause of home fires in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2007 and 2011, almost half of electrical fires were caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
Since most homes have quite a lot of lighting and wiring, here are some electrical safety tips to remember:
Don’t use anything with damaged cords or cables
If you have a broken or frayed wire, it can very easily ignite. The plastic surrounding the wires is meant to insulate and keep the heat and electricity inside the cord. If that’s damaged, the heat can get out and if the wires are damaged, it could spark or redirect the electricity. Replace the broken cords or the appliance!
Use extension cords wisely
Follow manufacturer instructions when using extension cords. That includes using an outdoor-approved extension cord when necessary. Avoid running extension cords across doorways (trip hazard) or under carpets.
Install tamper-resistant outlets
If you have kids, this is essential. Read more about tamper-resistant outlets.
Place lamps and other appliances on level surfaces
Lamps and space heaters falling are prime targets for fires. Make sure when you are using an appliance, it’s safely placed on an even surface and is a safe distance from other items. For example, don’t put anything within three feet of your space heater.
Use the right wattage bulb in your light fixtures
Sometimes, the right wattage could be too dim. However, if you put a light bulb that is too strong in your lamp or fixture, it can fry the wiring. The lamp’s electrical components weren’t built to handle a higher level of energy. If the light is too dim, replace the lamp or fixture for one that can handle a brighter bulb.