Reasons to be concerned:
The Statistics don’t lie! According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) “there are 51,000 fires a year resulting from electrical issues. There are over 1000+ Injuries every year and 100’s of deaths. $700,000,000+ in property damage in results from these fires (hope you have a good insurance company). 5300 of these fires are started by faulty outlets. 10,000 by faulty breakers, 20000 by old wiring”. All these issues are hard or impossible to detect.
Here’s Five Ways to keep your house from burning down:
- First and foremost, stop using extension cords . Extension cords are used for temporary use.
- DON’T PAINT YOUR OUTLETS! Huge mistake! One of the biggest causes of electrical malfunction is paint in the sockets. It’s very dangerous, I recommend changing them right away.
- I HATE SPACE HEATERS! Space heaters are not an electrical systems friend. They are usually used in older homes where the wiring is not efficient enough to withstand the amount of power being consumed. If you must use one PLEASE turn it off when you leave the home.
- What can you look for? (Great Question!) Flickering Lights is definitely a good indicator that there is an issue going on in the home. Tripper breakers is an indication something is wrong. Buzzing or sizzling sounds are bad. Electrical fires usually start with a tiny little sizzle. The electricity is trying to make a connection but it’s somehow separated, creating an arc. If you hear this sound, go turn off the main breaker and call an electrician . If you smell heated up paper, the stench of burnt toast or an oily burning smell, you could have an issue.
- Switch to LED lights to take a load off your electrical system. Plus, they save you money. (Who doesn’t love that).
Now let’s think about some basics! When is the last time you changed your smoke detector battery? I know, I know… it’s hard to remember. Two times a year I recommend changing them. Do it on the same day so you know when the last time you did it.
How old are your smoke detectors?
Hmmmmm….you may be thinking to yourself: (I don’t know when they built the house?)
Manufacturer’s Specification says the smoke detector is only good for 5 years if it was manufactured
before 2010 ( that means out of date) and 10 years if manufactured after 2010. In conclusion, SMOKE
DETECTORS SAVE LIVES!
How do you prevent a fire from happening? (I thought you’d never ask). First and foremost, call an electrician to come check out your system. ($200) is the best money you’ll ever spend to hear, “You and your children are safe.” Second, don’t use space heaters or extension cords, unless it is for temporary use only. Ask your electrician about installing AFCI breakers in your home. They protect you from any arcing behind the walls were you cannot see. Switch to LED bulbs. They’re very inexpensive these days. Make a plan with your kids of what to do if there is a fire. Replace your smoke detectors and/or batteries. HIRE THE PROS that are licensed and insured, not you neighbors uncle that hasn’t worked in 5 years but put an outlet in once and is now an electrician.