Most home fires start from the smallest of accidental causes, many of them in the “should’ve known better” genre. Prevented with the simplest of steps, this year, put breaking these bad electrical habits at the top of your Electrical Resolutions for 2021
This New Year, don’t just drop pounds – drop these bad electrical habits
Learning these electrical fires causes and prevention will ensure a Happy New Year.
Coiled extension cords create a fire hazard (even on cord reels) because flowing current generates heat, and if not properly dispersed due coiling, fires can occur – particularly when the cord is used near maximum rating. Coiling or wrapping is not just bad for extension cords either: Cords also suffer damage as metal components inside are bent back and forth, becoming eventually weaker, such as those on your hair dryer and curling iron.
The den of snakes
Can you plug a power strip into an extension cord or another power strip? Not a good idea. Plugging a power strip into power strip, or “daisy chaining a power strip” – or four – may seem convenient, but it is a HUGE fire hazard. It is extremely easy to exceed the power capacity of a single power strip or extension cord when you daisy chain. Don’t do it. If you need additional outlets, add them. They cost far less than a home fire – or the price of a single lost appliance.
Yanking the cord
Pulling the plug out of the wall by the cord could result in a spark that causes a fire – and will definitely reduce the lifespan of the appliance and outlet.
Ignoring dust bunnies
Piles of dust, easily accumulating around appliances and cords (and in your dryer’s lint trap), can quickly ignite.
Plugging a 100-watt bulb into a 60-watt max bulb socket can easily result in an electric fire. Read outlet limits – we promise – they’re on there. And while you’re at it, trash that ancient incandescent for a less wattage-heavy CFL or LED.
Overusing electric blankets
Cranking up the heat, constant operation, and the piling of layers of comforters atop electric blankets can lead to fires. Enjoy your blanket – but at night, on the lowest setting, and without the blanket brigade.
Using/storing your laptop on flammable surfaces like beds and rugs restricts cooling vents, causing overheating, computer damage, and eventually fires.
Man on the run
Leaving the house with an appliance running (dryer, dishwasher, etc.) or food cooking on/in the stove/oven is a huge no-no. The crock pot is the only exception.
Overcrowding appliances together does not give them they space they need for heat to dissipate. In addition, only one appliance should be plugged in per outlet to reduce risks of wiring overload.
Ignoring appliance recalls
Returning/replacing that faulty appliance seem like too much work? Ignore the danger and you could end up a statistic: Over 150,000 fires in the last 10 years alone have resulted from defective appliances.