The U.S. Fire Administration states that approximately 51,000 home fires and $1.3 billion in property damage are caused by electrical fires each year. These fires result in more than 1,400 injuries and 500 deaths. According to the NFPA, most electrical fires occur in the bedroom (14%), followed by the attic (12%) and kitchen (11%). According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), GFCIs could prevent 70% of the residential electrocutions that occur each year. These numbers are staggering considering many of these could be avoided by correcting these fire safety mistakes made by many homeowners.
- ♦ Extension Cords – do you have extension cords in your home running along furniture or under rugs? Have you removed the third prong from your extension cord so that it can be used in an outlet not equipped for that grounding prong? Do you use your extension cords as permanent solutions to not having outlets where you need them? Griffie Electric advises you to never “modify” an extension cord, never run them under rugs/carpeting and to only use them as a temporary electrical solution.
- ♦ Damaged Receptacles – do you have receptacles that need replacing in your home? The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports that 5,300 electrical fires originate from receptacles each year. If you are using damaged receptacles, they are a fire hazard and need to be replaced. If you are not comfortable replacing them yourself, please call Griffie Electric to have our experienced, licensed master electrician replace them for you.
- ♦ AFCI Receptacles – are you using Arc Fault Circuit Interceptor receptacles in your home? An AFCI is designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults to help reduce an electrical system from being an ignition source for a fire. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and ESFI state that AFCI’s could prevent more than 50% of electrical fires each year.
- ♦ Lightbulbs – are your lightbulbs the correct wattage for the fixture you are using them in? Using lamps that are a higher wattage than the maximum wattage recommended for a fixture is a fire hazard. Always check the fixture’s maximum wattage when determining the proper lightbulb to use.
- ♦ DIY – are you performing your own electrical work? Working with electricity is dangerous – either at the time of the work or after the work has been “completed.” Only a licensed electrician should be working on the wiring in your home to ensure quality, reliability and safety. Call Griffie Electric today for all your wiring needs.