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How to Prevent Electrical Fires

electrical inspectionAt Oliver, we want you and your family to stay safe. This means scheduling a regular electrical inspection with our experts and doing all you can to prevent home fires. Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of home fires and can lead to injuries and damages.

According to data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi), around 51,000 residential fires each year are electrical fires. These fires cause more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage. In order to keep your home safe, here are some tips for how to prevent electrical fires:

Use a surge-protected power strip.

If you have several items that need to be plugged in near each other, invest in a surge-protected power strip. These strips help distribute electricity. They also protect your appliances from damage if a lightning strike occurs. Use these strips for things like your television, computer, appliances, and more. Power strips can also help you save energy – simply turn off the entire strip when you’re not using your items.

Clean out your dryer vent.

Did you know your clothes dryer can be a fire hazard? Each dryer has a designated area that collects lint from your clothes as they dry. This area should be cleaned out on a regular basis. Lint is very flammable, and if it’s not cleaned out, it could catch fire when your dryer heats up.

Don’t dismiss breaker issues.

If you experience an electrical surge and your breaker trips, reset it. However, pay attention to what it does after you reset it. Does it trip again? If so, you could have a bigger electrical issue on your hands. Don’t just keep resetting it – this could start a fire. Instead, call the electrical experts at Oliver. We’ll inspect the situation.

Use space heaters safely.

Electric space heaters are great for small areas or for when you don’t need to heat your entire home. However, they can be a hazard. In order to prevent a fire, our electrical inspection experts suggest taking these precautions:

  • Read the heater instructions carefully before using.
  • Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from your heater.
    • This includes things like curtains, clothing, paper, rugs, etc.
  • Never leave your space heater unattended.
  • Plug your heater directly into a wall outlet.
  • Don’t use your heater if the unit or the connections are damaged.
  • Turn your space heater off when you go to sleep.
  • Always place your heater on a flat, level, non-flammable surface.

Know the effects of water.

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. While you likely think of water as a way to put out a fire, that’s not the case in electrical fires. Water conducts electricity, which means you should never put out an electrical fire with water. Instead, douse small fires with baking soda or use a fire extinguisher.

Because water conducts electricity, you should also keep bathroom appliances away from water sources. This includes things like curling irons, hair dryers, radios, electric shavers, and more.

Test your smoke detectors.

Smoke detectors are designed to keep you safe, so make sure you test each one of them on a regular basis to make sure they’re working properly. When you schedule an electrical inspection with Oliver, this is just one of the many things we complete on our “test, inspect, & check” list.

Don’t use damaged cords.

Before you plug anything into an extension cord or power strip, inspect the cord on the item. If the cord is frayed or damaged, don’t try fixing it. Instead, simply replace it; frayed or damaged cords can lead to electrical fires.

Keep your home safe by scheduling a home electrical inspection from the experts at Oliver! Call us today at 1-888-431-1178.