As homeowners, we strive to make our living quarters safe for ourselves and our families. This includes employing sound electrical safety practices around the house. Many of our safety measures are commonsensical. Don’t use your hair dryer in the bathtub. Keep wires and cords away from water. Don’t plug too many devices into one power strip.
But did you know you could be doing more?
Websites like Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) continuously put out resources on electrical safety, some of which contain lifesaving tips and information.
With National Fire Safety Month around the corner, it’s more important than ever to familiar yourself with ways you can keep your home safe by preventing electrical fire. Here are just a few from the USFA:
• Always plug major appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet.
• Never use an extension cord with a major appliance — it can easily overheat and start a fire.
• Always plug small appliances directly into a wall outlet.
• Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
• Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
• Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
• Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged and loose electrical cords. Do not try to repair them.
• Do not overload wall outlets.
• Insert plugs fully into sockets.
• Never force a three-prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
• Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children.
Extension Cords, Power Strips and Surge Protectors
• Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away.
• Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
• Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.
• Do not overload power strips.
• Use power strips that have internal overload protection.
For more information, outreach materials and educational programs, visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/.