While LCBS has previously covered the steps to take to prevent an electrical fire in the home, with the season changing, it’s a good time for a refresher. Most electrical fires are caused by means that could have been prevented by following proper precautions. This article aims to help you protect your home from fires by performing basic maintenance and taking advantage of professional services. Sometimes there are signs of problems with your electricity, but that’s not always the case. These simple steps can help you avoid the devastation, both emotional and financial, of a fire in the home.
#1: Never Overload Your Outlets
It may be tempting, especially if you don’t have a lot of outlets in your home or they’re located in inconvenient places, to run multiple extension cords or surge protectors to one or two outlets. This is almost never a good idea, as it can quickly lead to overloading your outlets. Never plug two extension cords together. If you have a lot of electronics that you need to plug into one area, use a UL-rated surge protector instead of an adaptor with multiple plugs. That way, if the power surges, it will be cut off by the surge protector. If these solutions are not sufficient, call a licensed electrician to assess whether you can install additional outlets in the home.
#2: Repair or Replace Damaged Electrical Cords
This is especially important if you have pets who like to chew on things in the home, but can also apply if you have electronics or appliances that are old or well-used. Feel the cords when they are plugged in. If they feel hot to the touch, immediately unplug the cord. If you notice any damage to your electrical cords, including holes, exposed wires, spots that look melted or anything unusual, stop using that item and replace it.
#3: Have Electrical Wiring Inspected Regularly
This is especially true if the wiring in your home is older. If your home has aluminum wiring, it is highly recommended that you have the wiring replaced with copper wiring to keep up with modern devices and appliances. Aluminum wiring is more prone to overheating. You should have a professional electrical inspection at least every 5 years, and any time you notice any unusual behavior from your lights, such as unexplained flickering or dimming.
#4: Pay Attention to Tripping Breakers
If the circuit to one area of your home keeps going out, necessitating that you flip it back on again at the circuit box, that is a sign that there is a potentially dangerous excess of electricity being pulled to that area. Instead of ignoring it and assuming that the breakers will take care of the problem, determine the cause of the excessive draw and figure out a solution to prevent it. Even with this safety feature, the wires are still at risk of overheating and starting a fire.
Not all fires can be prevented, but by staying vigilant and keeping up with this routine safety tips as part of your general home maintenance, you can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing an electrical fire. We all rely on so many electrical devices these days, between our phones, computers, tablets, kitchen appliances, and other wonders of modern life, it’s all too easy to assume that our electrical systems can handle it. By making sure to keep an eye on your cords, prevent overloading your outlets, have your wiring inspected, and reduce the load on your circuits, you will be taking major steps toward keeping your home safe.
If you’ve already experienced a fire in your home and are in need of restoration, contact LaPointe Construction Board-Up Service. Our family-owned company has been serving the needs of our customers in Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire for the last 40 years. We do everything we can to work with you to restore your property after a fire and salvage as much as possible. Call today at 978-447-5991 to see how we can help you.