About 60% of home fires are caused by electricity and hundreds of thousands of accidents, injuries and deaths are traced to misuse or failure of electrical appliances. The sad part is that most of these tragedies can be prevented with a few simple commonsense measures.
- Don’t overload your outlets.
Just because an outlet has room for multiple plugs doesn’t mean it's safe to use them. Convenience outlets are usually on a 15-amp circuit and overloading them can trip breakers or cause overheating leading to costly repairs or worse. If you notice warm cords, unusual smells, dark marks around the outlets or sparking when inserting or removing a plug, you may have a dangerous situation that needs immediate attention.
- Don’t use damaged cords or appliances
From table lamps to toaster ovens, appliances and their cords can become worn out. Test cords by jiggling them while the appliance is on and seeing if there’s any power interruption. Don’t use any plugs or appliances that show signs of fraying or damage until you have repaired or replaced them.
- Know the capacity of extension cords and don’t exceed it
Overloaded cords can get hot enough to start fires. They can also damage outlets, making them unsafe. Just because a circuit has enough capacity to run something doesn’t mean the extension cord can handle the load. And never combine multiple extension cords.
- Don’t use unfused adaptors
Power strips generally have fuses to protect against overload, but many so-called “block adaptors” that plug directly into the wall socket don’t.
- Keep all appliances clean and properly maintained
A dirty stove, oven, fan, heater or hair dryer can catch fire when it gets hot. Don’t let dirt, dust or spills accumulate and create a fire hazard.
- Know what you buy
Not all electrical goods meet U.S. safety standards. Keep yourself and your children safe by only buying items that carry a UL safety label or an equivalent label from a trusted source and are age-appropriate for everyone who will use them.
- Use chargers safely
Not every charger works properly with every device. A “turbo” charger for your phone might ruin your tablet, for instance. Improperly matched chargers can also overheat a device and create a fire hazard. Unplug them overnight or when you’re away from home. Phones are expensive and lives are priceless.
- Keep smoke alarms in working order
Electrical fires frequently ignite in places not frequently like workrooms, basements and garages. They can smolder for hours before bursting into flames…long after you and your family are tucked into bed. Check your alarms and change the batteries on a regular semi-annual basis to ensure your family will have plenty of notice if trouble strikes.
The best way to protect your family and your property is by making sure your home’s electrical system is adequate for the demands on it and that all your wiring and appliances are in safe working order.
Allstar Electrical Services offers a Residential Electrical Evaluation Audit designed to give homeowners true piece of mind. It includes a visual inspection of your property’s electrical service box and circuit breaker panel. Then Allstar’s licensed electricians check for any potential hazards such as undersized service, loose connections, moisture intrusion, worn out or outdated circuit breakers, illegal or out-of-code wiring, and any other issues that may affect the safety of your service or its ability to deliver adequate electrical power to your home.
Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range for over 15 years and is top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List. We offer homeowners, builders and businesses reliable, professional work that is safe and up to code.
Why risk annoying problems or worse? Before trouble strikes, call Allstar Electrical at 303.399.7420 or visit our website. Besides a thorough explanation of our services and information about our company, you’ll find timely articles about the latest developments in the ever-changing world of electronics. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment.
We also offer 24/7 radio-dispatched emergency service throughout our Front Range service area.
Electricity makes our lives easier, but its use comes with responsibility. Respect it and use it properly to avoid accidents and emergencies.