ELIMINATE DANGERS — Keep ahead of the game and anticipate areas of the home that could be potential danger zones.
SPRINGVILLE –– Electrical failures and malfunctions are a leading cause of house fires, year after year, but there is a way to stay safe at home.
Many electrical fires can be prevented by safety principles and practices.
To help protect homes from electrical fires, the Electrical Safety Foundation International offered these tips:
– Keep safety a priority when working with electricity. The ESFI recommended that a qualified, licensed electrician perform all home electrical work, in order to ensure compliance with local and national safety standards.
– Consider having circuit breakers replaced with arc fault circuit interrupters, which provide electrical fire protection by detecting dangerous arcing conditions.
– Make sure all electrical panel circuits are properly labeled. Replace fuses or circuit breakers with the correct size and amperage.
– Keep areas around the electrical panel clear, so it is easy to shut off the power in an emergency.
– Use the test button every month to make sure ground fault circuit interrupters and AFCIs are working properly.
– Look for warning signs of an electrical problem, such as outlets and switches that are warm or make crackling, sizzling or buzzing noises.
– Regularly check cords, outlets, switches and appliances for signs of damage. Do not use damaged electrical devices.
– Do not use extension cords on a permanent basis and never use them with space heaters or air conditioners.
– Avoid overloading outlets.
– Do not use light bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage of the light fixture or lamp.
In case of an electrical fire, follow these tips to ensure preparation for a safe escape:
– Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the house.
– Test smoke alarms each month and replace batteries regularly.
– Create a family fire escape plan that includes two ways out of each room.
– Pick an easy-to-find meeting place outside, at a safe distance from the home.
– Practice escape plans by having at least two fire drills per year. Start one fire drill at night, while the family is asleep.
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