Information and Tips

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According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical wiring and related equipment accounted for 7% of all home fires and nine percent of all home fire deaths between 2014 and 2018.

To Keep You and Your Family Safe:

  • Install smoke detectors in each bedroom and in the hallway outside each sleeping area. Replace the batteries in a smoke detector when the time changes for daylight savings in spring and fall.
  • Always buy appliances rated by independent laboratories like Underwriters Laboratories or Electrical Testing Laboratories.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit breaker and call a licensed electrician.
  • If a circuit breaker cuts off, don't just turn it back on or replace a blown fuse — it could create a fire hazard. Find out what caused the breaker or fuse to cut off.
  • Never remove the third prong (the round or u-shaped prong) of a three-prong plug to make it fit a two-prong outlet. This prong is a safety feature designed to reduce the risk of shock and electrocution.
  • Avoid nailing or stapling through cords and don’t place cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Use extension cords only on a temporary basis. Be sure the extension cord’s wattage rating is at least as high as the tool or appliance plugged into it.
  • Check extension cords frequently for signs of wear. Discard cords that are worn, frayed or broken. When you buy new extension cords, look for a certification label attached to the cord near the plug.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from combustible materials such as furniture, draperies and rugs. Don't use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Unplug space heaters when not in use. If you must use an extension cord with a space heater, use a heavy-gauge cord.

Check Wiring

Have your house wiring checked by a licensed electrician, particularly when moving into an older home whose wiring may not be able to support the electrical demands of modern life. In addition, aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, is a potential fire hazard.

Homeowners should have their electrical wiring inspected if their home falls into one of the following categories:

  1. The home is more than 40 years old.
  2. The home is more than 10 years old, and has had major renovations, additions or contains new large appliances.
  3. You are a new owner of a previously owned home.