Every year during the month of October, we try to bring a very important consideration to the forefront of our discussion: fire prevention. October is National Fire Prevention Month and we like to take this opportunity to help educate all of our customers on some of the steps they can take to make their home safer. The National Fire Protection Agency estimates that 47,700 home fires in the U.S. are caused by electrical failure or malfunction every year. From these fires, there are an estimated 418 deaths, 1570 injuries, and over $1.4 billion in property damage. In many of these residential fires, overloaded electrical circuits are a major factor, so our Allentown Electricians would like to take this opportunity to give you a couple of useful tips to help minimize your risk of electrical overload and protect yourself and your family.
Know The Warning Signs
Many times, a fire caused by an overloaded circuit isn’t something that just pops up all at once. Usually there will be warning signs that something is wrong, you just have to know what to look for. Some of the warning signs that a circuit might be overloaded are:
- Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights
- Warm or discolored wall plates
- Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches
- Crackling, buzzing, or sizzling coming from receptacles
- Mild shock or tingle from receptacles, appliances, or switches
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
Being aware of these warning signs can go a long way in helping prevent a fire in your home, but fire safety doesn’t end there.
Have Your Home Inspected & Serviced By Qualified Professionals
It goes without saying that when you need electrical work performed on your home, you should make sure that you have a qualified electrician performing it. Attempting to do it yourself or have a handyman take care of it is dangerous and leaves a lot of room for mistakes. An experienced professional will be able to perform the job safely, efficiently, and make sure that nothing gets overlooked. Hiring a professional to perform a safety inspection is also a good idea when looking to buy, remodel, or just check up on the safety of your home.
Prevention Is Key
Preventing an electrical overload from happening is always the better alternative than fixing it after the fact. There are a few basic steps you can take to minimize the risk to your home.
- Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances
- All major appliances should be plugged directly into the wall, and only one should be plugged in at a time
- Extension cords are not intended as a permanent solution. Don’t let them run under rugs or through high traffic areas of the home. Have a qualified electrician add more outlets so you don’t have to rely on extension cords
Electricity is an important part of our daily lives, but we still need to be careful when using it. This October, make proper fire prevention a goal for your home, call the experts at Lehigh Valley Electric and let us help you protect your home.