Electrical fires are one of the most common types of fires that occur in homes. Luckily, you can take steps to reduce your risk of an electrical fire. For your safety, here are five tips you should implement into your life.
1. Be aware of product recalls
If anything you own—from an electrical fixture to your wires—is recalled, you need to know about it for your safety. For example, some electrical cables were recently recalled because their insulation was wearing thin. As a result, these cables were likely to catch fire. If you were not aware of that recall and you had those wires, you would be in danger.
To stay updated on recalls, you can set up a "recall" alert with your favourite search engine, or you can have an electrician look at your existing items to see if any of them have been recalled.
2. Have an electrical contractor look over old wiring
If you live in an old home, your wires and fixtures may not be safe, but they are so old that they won't be recalled either. Ideally, you need to have an electrical contractor look over your wiring to see if it is safe. These pros can give you advice on what needs to be repaired or replaced.
You don't just have to worry about old wiring in the walls. If you have old appliances, look at those too. If you see any frayed or loose cords, get rid of those appliances or have them rewired.
3. Avoid overheating
Many of your electrical devices may start on fire if they overheat. Go through your home and make sure your laptops, video game consoles and other electrical items, are on firm surfaces that allow air to circulate beneath them. Do not store these items on beds or other soft surfaces.
Also look at the positioning of cords. If you have cords under rugs or in other spaces where they may get hot, move them out into the air.
4. Do not overburden your outlets
Just as you should avoid overheating, you should avoid overburdening your outlets. If you have to plug more than two devices into any outlet, talk with an electrician to see what that circuit can handle.
5. Install smoke alarms
If you don't have smoke alarms in your home, you need to install them. Ideally, you should have smoke alarms on every floor of your home, but for true safety, have one outside of each bedroom as well. That way, if a fire does start, the beeping is more likely to wake everyone.