Electronics are a daily part of our life and we often forget the dangers that can be associated with lighting fixtures, chargers, appliances and more. At SERVPRO of Richland County we have responded to hundreds of electrical fires over the years, helping our customers get their lives and homes back to normal. Keep in mind the following tips to reduce the risk of an electrical malfunction or tragedy in your home.
- On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
- Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
- Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
- Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
- Use a surge protector to guard appliances and other electronics in your home.
- Store flammables away from electrical appliances. It is helpful to establish a safe, designated area for flammable chemicals in your home.
- Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher.