As with most problems that can happen in the home, prevention is key when you’re dealing with electrical issues. If signs of electrical issues are ignored, however, dangerous electrical fires could result. To avoid the damage, cost, and inconvenience, follow the following tips to prevent home electrical fires.
Unplug the Appliances
Appliances that produce heat can quickly become a fire risk if left on for a long time or if they aren’t functioning correctly. Small heat-generating appliances like curling irons/straighteners, toasters, irons, and electric kettles should always be unplugged when you’re not using them.
Extension Cords are Temporary
An extension cord is useful for bringing electricity closer to where you need it if an outlet is too far away. However, you should only use them as a temporary solution to power issues. If you don’t have enough permanent access to power, check with an electrician to see about getting it installed.
Make Sure Your System is Up-to-Date
If you have an older home, updating your electrical system could be a good idea. Older systems may include knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, which is more prone to overheating. Getting a more up-to-date system with copper wiring will discourage overheating and lower the risk of electrical fires. Additionally, older systems tend to be 60-amp, so when updating, make sure your new system has at least 100 amps.
Don’t Cut the Third Prong
The “ground,” or third prong on a power cord helps to protect the appliance from electrical malfunctions and power surges. In the case of a short circuit, the ground prong allows electricity to travel safely through. If you cut it, you eliminate that safe passage and run the risk of fire or electrocution.
Always Follow Directions
When you buy a new appliance, don’t throw away the instruction manual right away. The manual will contain important directions and safety information. Make sure to follow those directions carefully to prevent risk of fire.
Don’t Use Damaged Cords
If you notice that an appliance’s power cord is cracked, broken, loose, or otherwise damaged, stop using it immediately until you can get it repaired. To keep your power cords in good shape, make sure to store them properly. Make sure any cords on the ground aren’t damaged by vacuum cleaners, doors, or furniture.
Pay Attention to Indications of a Problem
Overheating – which can quickly lead to an electrical fire – can be spotted if you know what to look for. Keep an eye out for any of these indications of a potential problem:
- Power cord feels hot
- Burning smell from an appliance or power cord while in use
- Flickering lights
- Breakers tripping frequently
- Fuses blowing often
- Small electrical shocks or sparks when plugging in an item
- Burn marks near lights, switches, or sockets
Electric Company in Franklin, MA
Keeping an eye on your electrics throughout the house is a great way to stay on top of any potential problems. If you think you might have an electrical issue, give the experts at Brunelli Electric a call for immediate assistance and high-quality service. 508-400-5571