What Causes Electrical Fires in Homes
National Fire Prevention Week 2018 has arrived! What does that mean for you and your family?
Because we have such a humid climate here in the Bayou, Houma and Thibodaux homeowners don’t have to worry as much about threats from wildfires, but your home is still vulnerable to fire. Over 24,000 house fires are caused by electrical problems each year, and most can be prevented. As licensed electricians, we at Doug’s want to share some simple steps you can follow to prevent electrical fires in your home.
Tip #1: Check Your Switches & Outlets
Malfunctioning outlets and switches are a leading cause of electrical fires, so if any of your outlets and switches aren’t acting right, have an electrician come to evaluate them. Signs your switches and outlets need professional attention include:
Warm To The Touch
Ozone Or Burnt Metal Smell
Crackling, Buzzing & Sizzling Sounds
Plugs Fall Out Of The Outlet
Tip #2: Check Your Cords
Damaged electrical cords are another major cause of electrical fires, so make sure the cords in your home are in good shape. When cords are in use, make sure they’re not pinched or coiled, as this can damage the insulation around the electrical wires and cause a fire hazard. In order to prevent overheating, don’t staple or nail cords to walls or run them under carpets. Never use electrical cords that have exposed wires.
Tip #3: Don’t Use Extension Cords
Every homeowner needs to use an extension cord from time to time. They’re particularly useful for holiday lighting displays. But you shouldn’t need to use extension cords every day. If you have more electronics than available outlets, plugging them all into an extension cord could cause the cord to overheat and start a fire, or it could overload the circuit and knock out power to the room. Instead, have an electrician install additional outlets and wiring to properly support the electronics you use.
Tip #4: Make Sure You Have Enough Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are vitally important to your fire safety. There should be at least one alarm on every level of your home, and preferably one in each bedroom as well. Make sure to install fresh batteries every year—pick a holiday to make it easy to remember—and test them once a month to ensure your smoke alarms are working properly. You should also replace your smoke alarms every 10 years to ensure they’re using the latest detection technology.
Be Safe This Fire Prevention Week
These are just a few steps you can take to keep your southern Louisiana home safe from fire. For more fire safety tips and fun activities you can do with your family, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.