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Fire Safety Tips: How To Prevent Electrical Fires

June 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | Category: Electrical Tips

Fire safety is extremely important for a home to keep people and property secure. A surprising number of electric fires happen in the United States each year. Annually, electric fires are responsible for 350 deaths and over 1000 injuries. In addition, it causes about $1bn in damage to property as well. Every homeowner should therefore take adequate measures to ensure that the house is safe from electric fires.

The first and foremost precaution to take is to ensure that you know how to set up new appliances. This means if you are trying to set up a new heater all by yourself without help from a professional electrician, you should double-check all your connections. Be sure to read the manual completely and thoroughly. Certain electrical appliances need a voltage regulator and they should not be plugged in directly into any socket. You should make sure that you know these requirements beforehand.

Also, don’t use faulty electrical appliances and simply dispose of them from your home. You can know equipment is faulty when it blows the fuse too often or trips the circuit breakers frequently.

Electrical appliances can also malfunction when water gets into them. It is very important that the equipment is kept away from water. Water easily causes a short-circuit and it can also cause electrocution when you try to turn on the device. This can be dangerous.

Extension cords are one of the most common reasons for electric fires. These are easily preventable, so it is unfortunate that they occur with such frequency. Simple steps can keep electric fires of this nature at bay.

When using an extension cord, you should be sure that the capacity of the extension cord matches that of the appliance that you are using. Some heavy electrical appliances like microwaves are not conducive for all kinds of extension cords. While using extension cords, you should also make sure that it is not cracked up or the insulation missing at any point. This is important because exposing the metal wire can cause electric fires.

The right wattage is important for an extension cord and you should ensure that the sum total of all the wattages of all the devices plugged in doesn’t exceed its capacity. You can also feel the extension cord and if it is overloaded, it will usually warm up.

There is a general rule not to exceed wattages more than the suggested rating on the electric installation. Thus if a light fixture says, “do not exceed 100 watts”, you should not exceed this wattage no matter what.

Problems related to electrical wiring need to be addressed as soon as they arise. Time can take a toll even on the best electrical wiring and therefore you might need to get a review. You can know about a faulty wiring system if you notice lights fluctuating or dimming. In the United States, homes built before 1970 are especially susceptible, so it is always a good idea to get a licensed electrician evaluate and make any repairs and replacements as necessary.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6326248

 

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