Researching and implementing tips for preventing home electrical fires is crucial to ensuring the health and safety of your household and the protection of your property. Homeowners can implement practices like following mindful everyday electrical safety and hiring reputable, licensed electricians.
At Fusion Electric, we always prioritize safety in our electrical installations, repairs, maintenance, upgrades, and customer education. In this guide, we discuss five crucial tips for preventing electrical fires in your home.
Be Mindful of Heat-producing Appliances
Most modern homes contain several heat-producing appliances such as hair styling and clothing irons, toasters, ovens, kettles, etc. Always be mindful of where portable heat-producing appliances are being used and always turn off and unplug these items when they are not in use. Always ensure that you turn off large, stationary devices when not in use.
These items can overheat if left on for too long and cause a fire. Additionally, the longer they are left unsupervised the greater chance that a flammable object may be accidentally dropped or left on the heated surface. For example, someone may leave a curling iron on and the next person to use the bathroom may unknowingly leave a hand towel on top of the iron, leading to a fire.
Don’t Use Items with Damaged Electrical Cords
If you notice that an electronic’s cord is frayed, cracked, loose, or otherwise damaged, do not plug this device into an outlet. Using damaged cords can increase the risk of a home electrical fire. Instead, have the cord repaired or replaced before using the device again.
Damaged electrical cords can be easy to overlook, so it’s crucial to develop a habit of regularly checking electrical cords before using them.
Tips for Preventing Home Electrical Fires Include Having GFCIs Installed
GFCIs stands for ground fault circuit interrupters and are modern outlets and circuit breakers that interrupt the abnormal current flow. It works using a sensor to determine the amount of current traveling to and away from devices along circuit conductors. If the amount of circuit travel differs by about 5 milliamperes, the GFCI blocks the circuit, preventing an adverse electrical event that could lead to a fire or electrocution.
Installing GFCIs is particularly important in areas of the home with electrical devices that may be exposed to water, such as kitchens, bathrooms, pool areas, etc. At Fusion Electric, we often install GFCIs in homes as part of safety upgrades to the electrical system.
Schedule an Electrical Inspection of Your Home
At a maximum, you should have an electrical inspection of your home scheduled every ten years, although some homeowners schedule a yearly inspection of their electrical system.
Electrical inspections by a qualified, licensed, and reputable electrician will significantly reduce the risk of a home electrical fire as they can identify and fix problems before an incident occurs. The electrician can also make upgrade recommendations for an older system that will improve electrical safety in your home.
We recommend scheduling a professional inspection of your electrical system if you are unsure of the last time your home underwent an electrical inspection, had major electrical appliance changes, it’s been several years since your last inspection, or you are noticing problems with your electrical system. These problems can include flickering lights, constant circuit breaker tripping, or burnt-smelling outlets.
Install Adequate Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers in Your Home
While preventing fires is always the goal, if an electrical fire occurs in your home, you’ll want to make sure your household can quickly respond. Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and about every 21 feet in your home, including areas you may not often go to, such as basements and attics.
In the case of a small electrical fire, having fire extinguishers on hand can mean the difference between being able to immediately put out a small fire, and having to call in the fire department to battle a spreading blaze that may destroy your home. Install a fire extinguisher on every level of your home and in or near areas that may be more at risk of an electrical fire such as kitchen and bathroom areas.
Follow Our Tips for Preventing Home Electrical Fires and Call in the Experts at Fusion Electric
Preventing fire in your home is always of the utmost importance. At Fusion Electric, we’re here to provide safe, high-quality electrical installations, upgrades, and repairs for Kansas City area homeowners. If you want to better protect your home, follow these five tips for preventing home electrical fires, and give us a call today to improve your home’s electrical system.