Although it plays a large role in our modern existence, we take for granted how much convenience electricity brings to our everyday lives. People also forget how the use of electrical devices can lead to fire-related hazards. This is the reason why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) supports National Electrical Safety Month every May. Sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), this annual campaign works nationwide to raise awareness regarding home electrical hazards and electrical fire safety.
NFPA statistics note that American fire departments reported more than 48,000 home structure fires that were started by electrical problems in 2015. These fires caused 455 deaths, injuries to about 1,500 people, and estimated property damages of $1.5 billion. About 50% of these fires were attributed to electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
To help ensure safety, ESFI and NFPA encourage homeowners to have all electrical work performed by licensed, professional electricians. They also urge them to follow the instructions provided by manufacturers for plugging appliances into wall outlets. Below are six more safety tips that residents should follow to help prevent electrical fires:
- Plug in only one heat-producing appliance, such as a coffee maker or toaster, into a wall outlet. When not being used, unplug small appliances.
- To keep young children safe, install tamper-resistant electrical outlets or use protective outlet covers that prevent the insertion of an object.
- Do not place electrical cords beneath rugs and carpets or across doorways because furniture may pinch or damage them.
- Only utilize light bulbs matching the recommended wattage of a fixture or lamp. Inspect a lamp’s label to find out the maximum wattage light bulb that may be used.
- Use arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which are a type of circuit breaker that turns off electricity whenever a dangerous situation occurs. A licensed electrician should be considered for their installation.
- Inspect electrical cords regularly and replace those that are loose, cracked, or damaged.
Electrical Peace of Mind
Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:
- Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
- Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
- Electrical Service & Repair
- Specialty Electrical Services
For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.