How to Avoid Electrical Fires

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), home electrical fires account for approximately 51,000 fires each year$1.3 billion in property damage, more than 1,400 injuries, and nearly 500 deaths. Not to mention, electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires as well.

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After reading statistics like this, we bet you would agree that it’s time to take a few minutes and learn how you can work to avoid an electrical fire in your home so that you can keep your home, you and your family safe. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Don’t overload your outlets. Plugging too many appliances into the same outlet, power strip or extension cord can encourage a fire to break out, so make sure that you’re being strategic with where you plug things in. If you don’t already have them, you may benefit from power strips that have overload protection built in.
  2. Keep an eye out for damaged cords. If you notice that an electrical cord is frayed, cracked or damaged in some other way, replace it. Faulty wiring is a major safety hazard, and you definitely don’t want any wiring to be exposed.
  3. Never force a plug into an outlet. It can be frustrating to have a plug with three prongs but an outlet with space for just two, but you should never try to force plugs into outlets where they don’t fit, and you certainly should never mess with the plug itself to make it fit.
  4. Have GFCI outlets installed. GFCIs, which are ground fault circuit interrupters, are critical and every home should have them for increased safety. These are designed to turn off electric power when there is a ground fault, and since ground faults can cause an electrical fire, GFCIs can intervene before a problem arises.
  5. Get an electrical inspection. Electrical inspections are extremely important, as they can let you know if there are any concerns that need to be addressed with your wiring and/or electrical system. Here at TFC Electric Inc., we can perform an electrical inspection that lets you know if all electrical work is safe and up to code, and we’ll provide a Certificate of Compliance accordingly upon completion of the inspection!

In addition to all of your efforts to prevent an electrical fire, we have one more thing that you must do regularly: test your smoke alarms.

The ESFI reports that 65% of home fire deaths are a result of fires in homes that do not have working smoke detectors. That said, make it a priority to check your smoke detectors regularly to ensure that they are still in good working order and replace batteries/perform repairs whenever necessary.

At TFC Electric Inc., our goal is to meet or exceed both national and local electrical codes, and we always comply with NEC standards and work with inspectors from rough-in to final inspection to make sure that all work is done right and safely. To schedule an appointment for an electrical inspection, please give us a call at (631) 589-2800.

October 14, 2016