How Connecticut Residents Can Prevent Electrical Fires

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in electrician in Connecticut, K-Co Electric Blog, Repair Maintenance, Residential Electrician, Services | 0 comments

How Connecticut Residents Can Prevent Electrical Fires

You hear about electrical fires on the news, but they are few and far between and usually only happen around the holidays, right? Wrong! Electrical house fires are actually a very serious concern, with almost 50,000 of them occurring every year in the US. That equates to about 1.5 billion dollars of damage and 450 deaths (and that’s just people, not pets).

As a Connecticut resident, you already know not to stick a space heater right in front of your curtains, that’s just common sense. Heat and flammable materials don’t mix, that’s House Fire Prevention 101. But here are the not-so-obvious things you need to be doing:

Avoid Extension Cords

Yes, they are super handy and help you reach things when an outlet is not readily available. However, they were never meant to be permanent fixtures in your home. They are for when you need to cut the grass with your weed eater or use your electric drill to put together a massive dollhouse for your daughter. And that’s it. If you need an extension cord for your alarm clock or end table lamp, rearrange your furniture. Or, hire a Connecticut electrician to install a new outlet right where you need it.

Follow Wattage Instructions

These are not recommendations. They are rules. Follow them. If your light fixture calls for a 65-watt bulb, don’t try to one-up it and put in a 100-watt one. The fixture was not made to handle that much power, and you do not want to push it past its boundaries.

Do Not Repair Damaged Cords

Have you been noticing your lamp flickering? Do you get a little shock when you plug in your vacuum? Or do you actually see visible tears or fraying? These are all signs that you are dealing with a damaged cord. While it may seem like an easy fix to just put some duct tape over it, this is asking for trouble. Just bite the bullet and replace the fixture or appliance, or you might regret it.

And if you are dealing with actual wall electricity issues, like a faulty outlet, never try to repair them yourself. A Connecticut electrician has years of education and experience to deal with these problems safely.

Place Cords Strategically

Sometimes outlets just aren’t where you need them. So what do you do? Perhaps you run a cord under the carpet so you can stretch the TV across the room without causing a tripping hazard. Maybe you use the outlet in the hallway for your new audio player because all of the ones in your bedroom are already in use for the clock and lamp. These may seem like genius solutions, but they are actually putting your home at risk.

Cords are live currents of electricity, and if they get damaged, fire will ensue. So do not place them under rugs, between closed doors, in high traffic areas, or anywhere else that may compromise their position.

Sources: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/electrical.shtm