Homeowners must always be cautious and aware of the possibility of an electrical fire. Fall and winter are the most common times of year for electrical fires to occur for several reasons. First, people are indoors for longer periods of time and using more electricity to light and heat the home. Too, they are generally too trusting of electrical appliances and don’t understand they pose a danger if not handled properly. What follows are some tips for preventing electric fires in the home.
Immediately unplug any heat-producing appliance when you have finished using it. Items such as curling irons and even toasters can overheat if not turned off. It is best to unplug them versus ‘turning them off’ because the last person who used the appliance may inadvertently fail to hit the correct button to disengage them. Simply unplug them from the wall.
Discard any appliances with frayed, cracked or otherwise damaged power cords. This is a common cause of electric fires in the home. They can also cause electric shocks.
Do not rely on extension or power cords for long periods of time. They are only designed to be a temporary solution to the need for additional power. Extension cords can overheat and they also present a trip and fall hazard.
While the typical directions for using an appliance are boring to read and many people simply discard them – you are advised to take the time to familiarize yourself with the information. These instruction manuals provide directions and warnings that can result in electric fire prevention. Also register your appliance so you can be kept apprised of recalls and manufacturing problems.
Finally, do not ignore potential fire indicators. For example, if there is a burn mark around a socket this is an indication of a problem. If something smells like its burning – check the electrical sockets or lights first. If an appliance cord feels hot to the touch this is also an indication of a problem.
You may eventually need to update your home’s electric system as the original components may be aging and susceptible to fire. We invite you to contact the professionals at J. M. Mullen Electric Services for all your home electric needs.