According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), electrical fires account for about 51,000 fires annually, causing an average of 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and upwards of $1.3 billion in damages. As you can see, the risk of electrical fire is a very real one, and understanding the ins and outs of home safety in NW Florida is essential to prevent them.
So, how do you protect your home from an electrical fire? How can you avoid dangerous events like sparks and power surges?
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your home safe:
5 Tips to Prevent Electrical Fires
Electrical fires can destroy your house and put your family’s safety at risk. Fortunately, they’re often preventable. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent electrical fires and associated damages:
1. Unplug Heaters and Similar Appliances When You’re Not Using Them
Heat-generating appliances are some of the top causes of electrical fires. Mostly, they go up in flames when they malfunction or are left on for an extended period. With this in mind, unplug electric kettles, heaters, irons, curling wands, and similar heat-producing appliances when they’re not in use.
2. Use Grounded Power Cords
Power cords that include the third prong are known as “grounded.” This funny-looking third prong serves an essential purpose: it protects your home and appliances in the event of a power surge. If you live in an older home that only has two-prong outlets, hire an electrician to inspect your electrical system and see if there’s a way to update your outlets to include a third prong.
3. Toss Devices With Damaged Cords
So your new puppy chewed through the casing on a power cord. It’s probably still safe to use, right? Wrong. No matter how an electrical cord became damaged, it’s smarter to toss the appliance than it is to use it. In some cases, you can have a cord repaired instead of throwing the appliance away.
4. Follow Appliance Instructions
While you might not be in the habit of reading the instruction manual for your microwave or toaster, it’s a good idea to understand the warnings and directions meant to prevent electrical fires and malfunction. In most cases, you can also register a new device to receive updates about recalls and other important product information.
5. Update Your Electrical System
If you live in an older home with knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, you should know that this electrical system is at a greater risk of overheating than a new one. With this in mind, consider upgrading your home’s electrical system to include modern wiring materials. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of electrical fire and keep your home safe.
Contact our NW Florida Electricians Today
We’re as concerned about home safety as you are, and can help you take proactive steps to reduce your risk of a house fire. Contact our team today to learn more or schedule an electrical inspection now.