Ever since Ben Franklin harnessed the power of lightning, the “current” of electrical power has brightened all of our lives. However, just because we’ve harnessed the power of electricity doesn’t mean Zeus can’t make a comeback!
In other words: electrical malfunctions could easily cause home fires.
Although we often take electrical units for granted, homeowners must be extra cautious around plugs, cords, and wiring. Taking the proper preventative steps could significantly decrease your risk of a severe fire.
Just How Dangerous Are Electrical Fires? — A Few “Shocking” Facts
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) always urges homeowners to be extra vigilant when dealing with electrical plugs and wires. When you review the NFPA’s statistics, there’s good reason to be cautious around these areas.
Data from 2014 – 2018 suggests at least 34,000 homes had a fire caused by an electrical malfunction each year. That’s roughly 10 percent of total home fires in the USA.
Unfortunately, these electrical-related fires result in 470 deaths and 1,100 injuries every year. In terms of property damage, the NFPA estimates American homeowners paid $1.4 billion annually.
Most often, faulty wiring or misusing plugs were to blame for deadly home fires.
Stop The Spark Before It Starts! Preventative Strategies For Electricity
Thankfully, anyone could easily scan their home for general electrical safety.
First off, look at the outlets throughout your home. Be sure these units are free of excessive wear and that the prongs from your plugs fit snugly.
If these outlets look shabby, or you don’t feel your plugs fit all that well, then it’s time to consider upgrading your unit. Call a professional electrician for further guidance on how to replace these outlets.
Speaking of outlets, the NFPA reminds homeowners to only plug one heat-emitting unit in one outlet at one time. For instance, don’t plug your toaster oven and a coffee unit into the same outlet space. Doing so will increase the risk of burnout.
Please get in the habit of taking out all electrical plugs when you’re not using a unit. This simple tip will decrease the risk of an accidental fire.
Fire safety experts recommend keeping your electrical wires out of doorways. You should also avoid placing these wires on carpets for max security. It’s far safer to call an electrician to install more outlets than to keep these extension cords running through your home.
Please never stick your fingers or objects directly into outlets. Also, be sure to grab a few electrical outlet guards if you have kids at home.
For optimal safety, homeowners should install arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) throughout their houses. These devices will automatically turn off your electricity in the event of a major malfunction.
Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are another helpful safety technology. These units prevent serious shocks by automatically turning off your circuit.
The NFPA strongly recommends getting in the habit of checking AFCIs and GFCIs once per month.
Not Sure About Your Home’s Wiring? Call A Pro For Guidance!
Electricity is a complicated subject—hence why we pay electricians so much for their service!
Only a certified electrician should look at your home’s wiring to ensure they’re in proper order. If you’re a new homeowner, always get an inspection with a professional electrician. You should consider calling an electrician every few years for a routine check just to be on the safe side.
If you have any worries about your home’s electrical safety, you need to speak with a professional ASAP. Putting off these issues could result in a catastrophic fire down the line.