Your home’s electrical system is what makes your lights, appliances, and other mechanical conveniences work. However, electricity can also be a deadly force as fires caused by wires become more common and cause harm to people and property not only in homes but in commercial buildings. This is why it’s important to take measures to prevent electrical fires from starting in your home. Here are 12 ways to keep your home safe from electrical fires.
1. Check Your Wiring
One of the most common causes of electrical fires is wiring. Old, frayed, or damaged wiring is prone to overheating and can catch fire. To avoid a fire, check the condition of your home’s wires periodically. You know that your wiring has an issue if you can hear a hissing sound when a light switch is turned on or if lights flicker frequently and the bulbs change color. Additionally, if you notice any black marks on the wiring, it can mean that there is an issue. If you see any issues like this, contact a licensed electrician to check your wiring and to prevent electrical fires and other serious problems. Don’t use a meter to determine whether your home’s wiring is safe, and don’t attempt to repair your wiring without the help of a licensed electrician. Wiring should be inspected at least every six months.
2. Don’t Overload Outlets
Overloading an outlet is both a fire and shock hazard. This can be done by plugging in electrical equipment, like a space heater or power tool, into an outlet that is plugged into another socket. It can also be done by plugging multiple appliances into an outlet that is also wired to a different socket. Overloading outlets can cause a fire, so you should only plug in one item per socket to avoid overloading outlets. Outlets should also be connected to the ground, which protects them from fire and shock. Ideally, all outlets should be wired to a ground socket that is off of the same circuit as other sockets.
3. Be Careful When Working with Electrical Equipment
When working with electrical equipment and tools, don’t touch any of the electrical parts and components that can result in an electrical shock. A way to prevent electrical shocks is to turn off the power source before working on electrical equipment or tools. Additionally, when using electrical equipment outside, you should check for any water damage before turning it on. The outside elements can cause damage to the wiring that can lead to an electrical fire.
4. Don’t Do Household Repairs
If you are working on your home’s electrical system, it’s important to do that work only with an experienced electrician. A licensed electrician is trained to follow safety procedures and can fix any electrical issues that may be causing electrical fires. Additionally, if you’re not sure how to fix an electrical problem in your home, hire a professional. If you are in urgent need of electrical repairs, get in touch with Crowe Electric in Marshfield, MA. We offer emergency electrical services, including fixing issues with electrical equipment, lighting, and wiring.
5. Update Your Electrical System
One of the most important things when it comes to electrical fires is updating your electrical system. New fuses and wiring are always recommended. However, if your home’s electrical system has been in place for a long time, it’s always best to update it before anything happens. If you need help with your home’s electrical system, contact a professional electrician. They can upgrade the wiring and reset the installation. This will help avoid electrical fires and can also improve the safety of your home.
6. Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupters, commonly called GFCIs, are electrical outlets that are designed to stop the flow of electricity if there is a problem with the wiring or if an electrical component is damaged. If a GFCI senses an issue with the wiring, it will prevent any further electrical problems from occurring, including potentially lethal electrical fires. However, you should only install GFCIs if a certified electrician recommends them, and don’t try to do it yourself.
7. Install Aluminum Foil on Wiring
Aluminum foil can be used to protect wiring from fire and electrocution. If you don’t want to use GFCIs, this is an alternative that can be used to protect your home’s wiring. Simply wrap aluminum foil around the wires of your home’s electrical system and then connect it with the proper connectors so that all the wires are protected. Additionally, wrap aluminum foil around a light bulb or any other piece of electrical equipment which causes a spark when turned on. This will prevent fires and explosions.
8. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While smoke detectors are essential to preventing all sorts of fires, they can also help prevent electrical fires. However, you may already have smoke detectors in your home. Double-check that they’re working properly by testing them once a month. Additionally, make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors, as this gas is a byproduct of an electrical fire. Make sure that your detectors are placed near the furnace and any other electrical equipment in your home. If you see any signs of smoke or carbon monoxide, get out of your house quickly and call the fire department for immediate help.
9. Use Caution With Flammable Materials and Tools
While you should not use electrical equipment outside when it’s wet, there are also other measures you can take to prevent electrical fires from starting. First, a good rule of thumb is not to store flammable materials like gasoline near electrical equipment. Another way to prevent fires is to keep your tools in good condition and clean. Tools with loose wiring or damaged parts should be replaced or fixed immediately so that they don’t cause an electrical fire later on.
10. Use Extension Cords and Power Strips Responsibly
Extension cords are electrical cords that are used to connect electrical equipment, such as a power tool or lamp, to a wall outlet. These can be helpful for powering up appliances even if you don’t have an outlet nearby. However, extension cords should not be used in multi-plug outlets, where they can short out your electrical system and cause an electrical fire. Also, avoid using power strips that have multiple outlets on them as they can overload circuits. If possible, use only one extension cord to plug multiple devices into an outlet.
11. Use Switches Wisely
Switches are electrical outlets that control the flow of electricity to different parts of your home. The most common switches are light switches that control electricity flow to light fixtures. While these are important, you should turn off the power source before working on this equipment. Additionally, if you have a question about switches or you think that one of them isn’t working properly, turn off the power source and call an electrician to take a look.
12. Schedule an Electrical Inspection
You should have an annual home inspection conducted by a certified electrician to make sure that the electrical system in your home is functioning properly. Some problems that may be detected are wiring issues and electrical dangers, like the presence of spiders or insects. The electrician can also check to make sure that your electrical system is safe and find and fix any electrical issues.
Preventing electrical fires will help you avoid a variety of other problems as well. For example, a fire that starts in your home’s electrical system can lead to water damage. By taking steps to prevent electrical fires, you can avoid a lot of problems. At Crowe Electric in Marshfield, MA, we offer generator installation and repair services. Contact Crowe Electric today for help with your electrical needs.