Although it plays a large role in our everyday lives, we take for granted how much convenience electricity brings. People also forget how using electrical devices can lead to fire-related hazards. This is why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) supports National Electrical Safety Month every May. Sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), this campaign raises awareness regarding home electrical hazards and electrical fire safety throughout the United States.
NFPA studies found American fire departments reported more than 48,000 home structure fires that were started by electrical problems in 2015. These fires caused 455 deaths, injuries to about 1,500 people, and estimated property damages of $1.5 billion. About 50% of these fires were attributed to electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
To promote safety, ESFI and NFPA encourage homeowners to have all their electrical work performed by licensed, professional electricians. They also urge them to follow the instructions provided by manufacturers for plugging appliances into wall outlets. Below are six more safety tips for the prevention of electrical fires:
- Plug in only one heat-producing appliance, such as a coffee maker or toaster, into a wall outlet. When not being used, unplug small appliances.
- To keep young children safe, install tamper-resistant electrical outlets or use protective outlet covers that prevent the insertion of an object.
- Do not place electrical cords beneath rugs and carpets or across doorways because furniture may pinch or damage them.
- Only utilize light bulbs matching the recommended wattage of a fixture or lamp. Inspect a lamp’s label to find out the maximum wattage light bulb that may be used.
- Use arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which are a type of circuit breaker that turns off electricity whenever a dangerous situation occurs. A licensed electrician should be considered for their installation.
- Inspect electrical cords regularly and replace those that are loose, cracking, or damaged.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:
- Standby Generator Installation
- Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
- Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
- Structured Cabling
- Circuit Breaker Replacement
Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.