4 tips to prevent electrical fires

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ImproveTips

Electrical fires often occur unexpectedly in locations that may be hidden from view. As the second most common type of home fire in the U.S., more than 40,000 electrical fires occur in American homes every year, resulting in hundreds of deaths, over 1,000 injuries and more than $1 billion in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“With millions of Americans working and learning from home amid COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to take a few simple steps to protect your home and loved ones from electrical fires,” says Ashley Bryant, National Electrical Manufacturers Association Low Voltage Distribution Equipment AFCI Task Force co-chair.

To make needed updates at home, consider these safety tips from the NEMA LVDE AFCI Task Force.

TAKE CARE WITH CORDS

Inspect cords regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear. Use extension cords properly and according to the load ratings for the product. Never overload them or run cords under furniture, carpets or rugs.

EXAMINE APPLIANCES

When using appliances, inspect them for signs of damage. Only use the appliance in its intended manner.

TAKE BACK YOUR HOME again…

AKE BACK YOUR HOME

ENSURE PRODUCTS MEET SAFETY STANDARDS

To ensure the products you use at home comply with national safety standards, it’s always important to look for the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, like UL, CSA or Intertek.

CONSIDER ADDITIONAL PROTECTION

Arcing was the heat source in approximately 3 of 5 electrical home fires from 2012 to 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association. However, you can help prevent this dangerous condition from leading to a worst case scenario with Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).

AFCIs are designed to monitor the circuit for the presence of “normal” and “dangerous” arcing conditions in order to reduce the chance of your electrical system being an ignition source of a fire.

An affordable, proven smart technology that provides a higher level of protection than standard circuit breakers, AFCIs have been a National Electrical Code requirement in new home building since 1999 for certain electrical circuits. To better protect your entire home, experts recommend requesting AFCI protection on all 15 and 20A branch circuits.

To learn more about elec trical fire prevention and AFCI technology, visit afcisafety.org.

This article is courtesy of StatePoint Media.