According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires, accounting for more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage in the US. To keep your family and home safe from fire and other major hazards associated with electricity, follow this electrical safety checklist.
Test your smoke and fire alarms once a month
Smoke and fire alarms alert you when there is a potential fire problem in your home, giving you enough time to get to safety and call the fire department before the situation gets out of control. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that proper installation and maintenance of smoke alarms can significantly reduce fire injuries in homes. Smoke alarms should be checked once a month and replaced every 10 years or earlier if specified by the manufacturer.
Replace old, faulty wiring
Old, defective wires are a serious home electrical safety risk. Aside from potentially starting a fire in your home, direct contact with faulty electrical wiring can cause electrical shocks and burns. According to FireRescue1.com, homes that are over 20 years old may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances. To upgrade your electrical wiring system at home, you should ask for help from a licensed electrical company.
Check your appliances for damage
Having malfunctioning appliances at home does not only delay important household chores. It can also be damaging to your electrical system. You can tell if an appliance is broken if it creates unusual sounds during operation, does not turn on, heats up easily, and produces a foul burning smell. You would also want to unplug appliances when they are not in use. Not only will it help save money on your monthly electric bills, but it can also prevent appliances from overheating.
Install tamper-resistant outlets
If you have small kids at home, you should make it your priority to keep them safe at all times. According to the ESFI, 2,400 children in the US are treated for injuries caused by electrical outlets each year. The best way to childproof your electrical outlets is to put protectors on them or install tamper-resistant ones. The NFPA requires homes to install tamper-resistant receptacles to reduce the potential for electrical shocks and protect the family from other dangers caused by electricity.
Schedule routine electrical inspection and maintenance
To improve electrical safety in your residential home, invest in professional electrical repair and maintenance services. Licensed electricians are highly trained and equipped to perform any type of electrical work. Letting them handle your specific electrical needs at home will surely get you fast and efficient results. On the other hand, troubleshooting an electrical problem on your own can lead to a lot of problems, including additional system repairs and safety issues. Keep your home safe from electrical fire this dry season. Partner with a licensed and experienced electrical company to educate your household about electrical maintenance and safety.