Faulty outlets, old wiring, and other problems with household electrical systems cause the majority of home electrical fires. Misuse of appliances and cords can also contribute to house fires. You can reduce the risk by knowing the warning signs and taking precautions with appliances and cords.
If any of the following problems occur, get the help of a professional electrician:
♦ A circuit breaker keeps tripping.
♦ Lights dim whenever an appliance is turned on.
♦ An outlet sparks when a plug is inserted or removed.
Minimize the risk of fires by taking these steps:
♦ Avoid overloading extension cords, forcing three-pronged plugs into two-pronged receptacles, or running appliance or extension cords under a rug or through a high-traffic area.
♦ Make sure lights, especially halogen filaments, don’t come in contact with flammable materials.
♦ Select the proper bulb for each fixture. Using a higher wattage bulb than recommended can cause overheating.
♦ Test your smoke alarms regularly. Replace the batteries twice a year.
♦ Only purchase appliances and lights that are certified by a nationally recognized testing lab such as UL.