Each year countless lives are lost, and property destroyed by home fires due to negligence, carelessness or the home dweller being unaware of a potential fire hazard. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and The Electrical Safety Foundation International has launched a month-long campaign to help raise awareness of potential home electrical fire hazards and to educate people on how to correct common home problems that pose a fire hazard.
According to The Electrical Safety Foundation International, 150 home fires occur every day because of electrical issues. Home fires that could have been prevented by implementing a few safety precautions and being aware of potential fire hazards.
These are some of the home fire prevention tips that are being promoted during May for National Electrical Safety Month that can help you prevent your home from going up in flames, and perhaps even save your life.
Electrical appliances should always be kept away from damp or hot surfaces and allow room for enough air circulation for electrical appliances.
Electrical cords that are covered by rugs or furniture, like extension cords and lamp cords, need to be checked regularly for cracks or frays.
Light bulb wattage needs to be correct for the lighting fixture. A light bulb with to much wattage can overheat and cause a fire.
Electrical outlets and switch plates need to be in place and in good shape. Replace any covers that are broken. Place child safety plastic covers in electrical outlets that are not in use to prevent children from placing metal objects into the electrical outlet.
Other signs of home electrical problems that need the attention of a professional electrician are: Lights that are dim or flickering. Lights or electrical outlets that sizzle, buzz or spark when used.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International also wants to raise awareness during the month of May about outdoor electrical safety.
Stay away from a downed power line and anything touching it.
Be aware of overheard power lines, locate them prior to tree trimming, house painting or any other outdoor activity and stay away from them.
Before digging in your yard, call your local utilities company to locate where any underground electrical line might be buried.
Stay away from all pad-mounted transformers.
Things everyone should know, but bears repeating during May's National Electrical Safety Month: Keep space heaters away from anything flammable like curtains and furniture. Test your photoelectric smoke detector monthly and keep fresh batteries in it.
If you have any questions please contact the Albany Fire Department Prevention Bureau at (510) 528-5775.