How to Take Precautions in the home to prevent Electrical fires

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Electrical fires account for about 40% of fires in the home.  It is important that homeowners are aware of potential fire hazards and take necessary precautions to safeguard the home.  Taking precautions can prevent a serious fire.

First, it is a good idea to have at least two Fire Extinguishers in the home.  One Fire Extinguisher should be by the stove in the kitchen and another on the second level of the home.   Most importantly, check to make sure the Extinguishers are in working condition.

If you live in an older home, it may be wise to periodically check lighting fixtures and electrical outlets for possible short circuits.  If you see a light blink on occasion it could be due to a short circuit somewhere within the wiring. 

Never overload circuits.  Even if you are using extension cords or lighting attachments refrain from plugging too many plugs in to the same outlet.  In addition, you should have more than one smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector within the home.   Make sure batteries in these devices are fresh at all times.

Check the fuse box every six months or so.  Make sure the switches are in working order and test them by turning the electrical supply off and see if it shuts down electrical functions throughout the house.  Older fuse boxes have a higher rate of becoming a possible fire hazard.  Replacing a fuse box can be done for about $500.

Never run electrical cords or wiring underneath the carpet.  This is one of the worst causes of home fires.  The friction created by walking back and forth on a carpet with wires underneath can easily ignite an electrical fire.

If you are planning some home remodeling, don’t store any paint or varnish in doors especially near a heater.  The same thing goes for storing oily rags or rags with chemicals that are flammable.  Never paint over an electric socket, the paint could get into the wiring and cause damage to the wiring and a fire is possible.

Make sure you keep your oven clean at all times.  Accumulating grease in an over can easily ignite.  

Finally, don’t place pots on the stove and leave the room for any reason.  All it takes is one spark from the stove to start an out of control inferno.

Being responsible and practicing fire awareness can mean the difference between life and death.  It may also be a good idea to have a family fire drill once in a while.  In addition, a plan should be developed in the unfortunate event that a fire does take place.

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