Electrical fires can be very hazardous. Some of these fires are caused by electrical failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits.
Remember these tips for a safer home. Take time to walk through your house and look for potential problems.
- Plugs should fit securely into outlets, and outlets should not be overloaded.
- If plugs seem to fit loosely into a wall outlet, the wall outlet needs repair.
- Water and electricity don't mix. Don't place any electrical appliances near water.
- Never force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit.
- Check the wattage of all light bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture.
- Never stick your fingers, toys or anything except electric plugs into electric outlets.
- Unplug any appliance that emits sparks or that does not work properly.
- Make sure extension cords are in good condition - not frayed or cracked.
- Don't run electrical cords underneath rugs, carpets or furniture and never nail or staple them to walls or baseboards.
- Check to see that extension cords are not overheated. Only use extension cords on a temporary basis; these are not safe as permanent household wiring.
- Unplug your toaster or toaster oven before using a knife or fork to remove stuck bread or bagels.
- Always unplug an appliance before cleaning or repairing it.
- Be safe and save energy: Remember to unplug chargers and other electrical items when they are not in use.