Lamps, cords and power strips are everywhere in the average house. They’re so common most people don’t give them a second thought – until there’s a problem. According to the United States Fire Administration [LINK?], home electrical problems cause $1 billion in property losses through 26,100 fires per year – half of which involve electrical wiring [LINK?]. Even though most of those fires happen in December and January, May is Electrical Safety Month and a good time to think about things that are otherwise not hot topics.
Use some common sense with the lights. Don’t throw scarves or towels over lamps and keep them away from curtains and blankets. Bulbs can reach temperatures high enough to ignite them. For any lamps near fabric, use the lowest wattage bulb possible, and always turn the lights off when you leave.
Take a quick check of wires, cords and outlets. Look for frays, splits or exposed copper. Immediately wrap up any wounds with electrical tape and replace as soon as possible. Make sure power strips and surge protectors are not overloaded and that no three-pronged plugs are jammed into two-prong outlets.
These few simple steps can drastically improve your home’s safety without draining your pocket book or killing your free time. Of course, for any questions about circuit breakers or internal wiring, contact a licensed electrician.