Electrical fires in homes claim many lives each year and cost millions of dollars in property loss. While some electrical fires are caused by system failures and appliance defects, most are caused by the misuse of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords. December is the most dangerous month for electrical fires.
- Routinely check electrical appliances and tools for worn or frayed wiring. If you notice smoke, sparks or overheating, discontinue their use and replace them immediately.
- Use electrical extension cords only for temporary purposes and never overload them.
- Never set or use electrical appliances on wet surfaces.
- Keep clothes, curtains and other potentially combustible items at least 3 feet from all heaters and never allow children to play close-by.
- Never run electrical cords under rugs or in high traffic areas and never allow doors or windows to be closed on or bend electrical cords.
- Never force an appliance with a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
- Use outlet plug covers on electrical outlets to protect children from electrical shock.
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