How to Prevent Electrical Fires and Injuries

How to Prevent Electrical Fires and Injuries

Electrical fires and accidents can result in property damage, shocks, burns, and even death. Many tragedies can be prevented by using electrical outlets, cords, and appliances correctly.

Use Plugs and Outlets Safely

Plugs should fit snugly into electrical outlets. If a plug is loose, it or the outlet is likely damaged. Have a broken outlet replaced by an electrician. If a plug is damaged, you may need to have the appliance repaired or replaced. If a plug has three prongs, never try to force it or alter it to make it fit into a two-pronged outlet.

When you unplug an appliance, hold the plug securely. Pulling on the cord could wear it out and cause damage to the appliance or outlet, an electrical shock, or a fire.

Young kids are often fascinated by electrical outlets and have been known to insert all sorts of objects into the holes, which can cause shocks and fires. If young children live in or visit your home, use outlet covers to prevent injuries.

Prevent Electrical Cord Accidents

Frayed or damaged cords can cause electrical fires or can electrocute people or pets. If a cord is damaged, you may need to replace the appliance to prevent a serious accident.

Don't hide electrical cords under rugs or carpets. They could be damaged by people and pets repeatedly stepping on them. Don't nail or staple cords to floors or walls because that could cause damage that might spark a fire or shock someone. Keep cords away from heat and water.

If you use extension cords, keep them out of the way to prevent tripping and keep children or pets from playing with or chewing on them. Extension cords are only meant to be used temporarily. If you need additional outlets, have an electrician install some to avoid overloading one outlet.

Prevent Fires Caused by Lights

Lamps and light fixtures have specific wattage requirements. Make sure the light bulbs you use are appropriate for each fixture. Screw light bulbs in tightly so they don't overheat and spark a fire. If you notice any loose light fixtures or flickering lights, have them repaired. If a light switch feels warm to the touch, have it inspected and repaired by an electrician.

Avoid Blown Fuses and Tripped Circuits

Make sure that fuses are correctly rated for their assigned circuits. If you need to replace a fuse, use one that's the same size as the old one. If an appliance or electronic device has blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker more than once, the device may need to be repaired or replaced.

If fuses blow or circuits trip frequently, you may be using more appliances and electronic devices than your house can handle. You may need to have an electrician upgrade your home's electrical system.

Keep Your Family Safe

Electrical accidents can cause major damage and injuries and can even claim lives, but most are entirely preventable. Look for hazards around your house and address them.

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