With over 15 years of fire restoration experience, we’ve seen it all. And we’re here to tell you that electrical fires are a bigger problem than people give them credit. Looking at the reports revealed by the National Fire Protection Association between 2012 and 2016, there were an estimated 355,400 reported home structure fires per year in the U.S. Nearly half of those electrical fires involved a type of electrical distribution equipment like plugs, cords, light bulbs, lamps, switches, outlets, and wiring. Many electrical fires take more effort to put out than a typical fire would and, of course, there’s the issue of possibly getting electrocuted. The good news is that they’re preventable. Here are some tips that can help you prevent electrical fires and identify a potential fire hazard in your business or home.
1. Inspect all electrical wiring. The easiest way to prevent electrical fires is to stop them in their tracks. Have your wiring checked. As durable as many wires may seem, they don’t last forever. Have the wiring inside your home or business checked, especially if your wires are more than a decade old.
2. Check your old wiring and get it replaced. Whenever you see a power cord or any wiring in your home is frayed, worn down, or internal wires are exposed, it’s advised that you either have the wiring replaced or repaired, if possible.
3. Check the plugs on your electrical appliances. Wires aren’t the only things you should be inspecting, plugs can be just as dangerous. A damaged plug can cause a shock hazard. It can also spark or overheat, thus causing an electrical fire.
4. Never overload electrical outlets in your business or home. Electrical outlets are great. They allow us to plug in multiple things, thus getting rid of the inconvenience of having one or two outlets in a small room. As convenient as they are, they can also be an electrical hazard. Just because there are five plugs on an outlet, doesn’t mean you should use them all. Consider spacing the plugged-in devices. Try not to put too many high-powered devices on the same outlet as well.
5. Avoid exposing flammable materials to electric outlets. This includes items like blankets, cleaning supplies, and other cloth-based materials. If they encounter electrical devices, they can begin smoking and cause a fire.
6. Surge protectors are your best friend. When out shopping for extension cords or other needed additional outlets, we strongly consider surge protectors. They help prevent an outlet from dangers that come with a power surge. Power surges happen when a larger amount of electricity flows into your outlet and overloads it. This causes appliances to spark, which can cause a fire hazard.
7. Inspect your appliances and don’t mess with problematic ones. Old appliances, especially ones that make strange noises or flicker, should be avoided. If something seems off-putting about a certain appliance, then unplug it immediately. Then, have it replaced or repaired.
If you do happen to have an electrical fire and your property is damaged, call the fire restoration professionals at Entrusted. Entrusted can help return your home to its former glory.