5 Things You Can Do During National Fire Prevention Week To Keep Your Family Safe
October 9 -15, 2022 is National Fire Prevention Week and while Smokey the Bear reminds you that “Only you can prevent wildfires,” Hydes wants to help protect your family by sharing some handy tips to help prevent electrical fires in your home.
Be Safe During National Fire Prevention Week
Electrical fires account for about 25,000 house fires each year, and most of those can be easily prevented.
Follow these five steps to reduce the risk of electrical fires in your Coachella Valley area home and keep your family safe.
1. Don’t Overload Your Circuits
Overloaded circuits are one of the most common causes of electrical fires. When a circuit has too many electronics pulling power at one time, it overheats and trips the circuit breaker in order to prevent a fire, but old and worn-out circuit breakers can fail and allow the excess current to spark a fire. The best way to prevent overloaded circuits is to limit the number of electronics plugged into any given circuit. You should also make sure your biggest power users, like washing machines, stoves, refrigerators, etc. are plugged into a dedicated circuit that guarantees they won’t pull too much current. Learn more about about electrical upgrades.
2. Repair Faulty & Burned Outlets
Another major culprit for home electrical fires is faulty outlets.
Be on the lookout for these signs that you have an outlet that poses a fire hazard in your home:
- Lamps flicker when plugged into the outlet.
- An alarm clock display changes brightness frequently.
- The outlet is hot or tingly when you touch it.
- The outlet looks or smells burnt.
- The plug falls out or is loose.
These signs indicate you need to call an electrician for outlet repair as soon as possible.
3. Regularly Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can be annoying when they beep at you about a low battery, but they’re vitally important for fire safety. If you’ve ever built a fire, you know that kindling smokes before it combusts into flame; if your smoke alarm or CO detector is going off, it’s the first sign there’s a fire in your home.
Make sure you test these alarms every 6 months and replace them every 10 years.
- California fire code requires smoke detectors in every bedroom and areas leading to bedrooms.
- CO2 detectors are required in areas leading to bedrooms.
4. Don't Use Space Heaters with Extension Cords
If you’re experiencing problems with your furnace but not ready to have it repaired, space heaters are a great way to bridge the gap during a cold snap. However, you should only plug them into wall outlets and never into extension cords. This is because they use a lot of energy and can easily overload an extension cord’s capacity, turning it into a fire hazard.
5. DIY Electrical Work...Not A Good Idea
Replacing an outlet or installing a new light fixture may look easy when watching an internet tutorial, but if you’re not a trained electrician, you could do the work wrong and not even realize it. Is saving a little money on a DIY electrical project worth putting your home and family at risk of electrical fires? Rather than gamble on an internet tutorial, have a qualified electrician perform all your electrical work.
Be Aware of Fire Hazards in Your Coachella Valley Area Home
Fire can happen anywhere. Keep your family safe with these electrical fire prevention tips. If you have any questions or need electrical service for your Indio, Palm Desert and Palm Springs home, call Hydes at (760) 360-2202 to schedule an appointment.