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How to Prevent Electrical Fires at Your Home

TechnologyHow to Prevent Electrical Fires at Your Home

A fire can quickly spell disaster for your home. Thus it’s worth thinking not only about how you can prevent the spread and get everyone to safety, but also about how fires can be prevented in the first place.

Different kinds of fire require different kinds of intervention. In today’s appliance-driven world, electrical fires are becoming more prevalent. Let’s take a look at a few tips for how to prevent them.

Basic fire safety tips

To begin with, you’ll need to be aware that a fire is underway. The earlier you can react, the better your chances of limiting the damage and getting everyone out. Install smoke alarms and test them every month. Replace the battery whenever you hear a chirp from the alarm. 

You should also have an idea of exactly what you’ll do when the smoke alarm goes off. That might mean getting the kids and running to safety. If you’re in a high-rise apartment block, the danger might be more considerable, since the fire might be well underway by the time you become aware of it. What’s important is to plan in advance, remain calm, and put your plan into action when the alarm sounds.

Working with electrical appliances

Electrical appliances pose a number of fire risks. For example, portable heaters should be placed far away from combustible material. Don’t lay towels on top of the grille to dry them! In fact, don’t store any flammable materials next to the fuse box, either.

Certain electrical items, like hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners, can also become hot during use. Make sure that they are allowed to cool somewhere away from carpets and other things that might burn.

It’s also important to consider the state of outlets and cables. Check both for signs of wear. If the cable is in poor condition, it’s time to get it replaced. You can often detach the cable entirely – if not, you can use an electrical grommet to make sure that it safely enters the body of the machine.

Finally, be sure that you’re not overloading any one socket.  Chaining together plugs using adapters might be fine in the case of low-wattage devices like phone chargers, but not in the case of high-wattage devices like kettles, irons, cookers, and washing machines.

Check the wiring

It’s also worth checking the wiring in the home itself. You can spot some of the symptoms of this easily. Flickering lights, sparks, discolored or hot outlets, and alarming buzzing noises might all indicate an underlying problem. If you haven’t yet bought the property, or you’re moving in for the first time, then it might be worth calling an electrician to get the system looked at and, if necessary, rewired.

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