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General Information

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Safety is an essential factor when it comes to electricity and electrical devices.  If handled inappropriately live electrical wires can cause shocks, fires and even death. While these are extreme situations that we hope will never happen, electricity can still be dangerous and the appropriate precautions should always be taken to ensure your safety and the safety of your home and family.

A common result of mishandling electrical devices can be fire. According to Fire, “Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.”  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2016, electrical fires accounted for 6.3 percent (nearly 24,000 fires) of all residential fires.

Following are some simple and effective ways to minimize risk and ensure that an electrical fire does not occur.

Do Not Leave Electrical Devices Unattended

You should never leave an electrical device like a space heater running when no one is in the room.  This also applies to appliances in the kitchen, like toasters or toaster ovens —the number one place where home fires start!


Never Leave Flammable Materials near Cords, Outlets or Heat Sources

Be aware of curtains, drapes or carpets that may be near your electrical devices. Electricity generates heat, and while in most cases the amount is mild, even steady warmth can lead to ignited flammables if left alone for too long.


Never Overload an Outlet

Circuits are only designed to handle so much electricity. An overburdened outlet can easily start a fire. If you need more electrical access, use safe surge protection devices or simply have more outlets installed.


Get Rid of Old Appliances and Electrical Equipment

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are often started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. Discard any appliance with a worn or frayed cord.


Check your Lamps and Light Fixtures

Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for a lamp or light fixture is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.


Use Extension Cords Temporarily

Extension cords can also cause an electrical fire. Appliances should be plugged directly into an outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any extended length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.


Schedule Routine Electrical Safety Inspections

Hire a professional electrician to perform an electrical inspection in your home. Trained electricians are experts who have the tools and training to check all of the electrical systems in your home. Protect your home and family with this simple advice.


If you are interested in scheduling an electrical inspection in your home or commercial location, contact the experts RFG Electrical Contracting.  Their professional electricians have years of experience in the electrical industry and can inspect and update any electrical wiring or outlets in your home or business location. RFG Electrical Contracting has been providing exceptional electrician services to the Long Island community for over twenty years. Call us to schedule an appointment for a free estimate today at 631-750-1550.