21 Tips on Preventing Electrical, Home Heating, And Candle Fires
According to Portland Fire and Rescue, roughly half of home electrical fires involve electrical wiring or lighting equipment; and roughly half of those involved equipment such as washers and dryers, fans, and space heaters. One big factor is overloading electrical outlets. Tip number one is to plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time. Some other safety guidelines are:
2. Never use an extension cord with a major appliance or space heater – it can be easily over loaded. Plug appliances directly into a wall outlet.
3. If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips often, lights flicker or dim, or outlets or switches feel warm, have a qualified electrician inspect and fix the problem. These are often warning signs before a major disaster.
4. Use lamp bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage (there is usually a sticker on the lamp). Don’t put a 100 watt bulb into a fixture approved for only 75 watts.
5. Power strips with circuit breakers can be useful tools to temporarily plug several items into an electrical outlet, but if used incorrectly they can cause a fire. The use of power strips and multi-plug outlets increases the draw of electricity through your home's wiring. Before creating additional electrical demand, ensure that your wiring is in good repair and capable of carrying the additional load.
6. Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas, to reduce the risk of electric shock.
7. Install arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) in your home to protect electrical outlets and prevent fires due to arcing.
8. Run extension cords around carpets, not under them. A cord under a carpet can heat up and cause a fire.
9. Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
Fire Damage Restoration Questions? Call 860-216-2785 anytime
Home Heating Equipment
Home heating equipment cause a good percentage of winter fires and is a leading cause of home fire deaths. In a recent U.S. study, space heaters accounted for four out of five (80%) home heating fire deaths. Yet, some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires:
10. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment (e.g. fireplace, wood stove, baseboard or portable space heater).
11. Do not use extension cords with portable space heaters – plug them directly into outlets.
12. Use space heaters that have a switch that will shut off if the unit tips over.
13. Have your heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
14. Use a sturdy fireplace screen in front of your fireplace to stop sparks from flying into the room.
15. Throw out fire ashes in a covered, non-combustible container and douse the ashes with water.
16. Make sure all fuel-burning equipment (e.g. gas furnaces and ranges, wood stoves and fireplaces) are vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (C.O.) poisoning.
Home Heating Safety Questions? Call 860-216-2785 anytime
Portland Fire and Rescue points out that candles, although appealing for the ambiance they can create, are a significant cause of home fires. In fact, candles are one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. More than one-third of home candle fires start in the bedroom, and more than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle. Remember that today you can use battery powered artificial candles so you avoid having any open flame. But if you do burn old-fashioned candles please observe these safety tips:
17. Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
18. Keep candles at least 12” away from anything that can burn.
19. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed; avoid the use of candles in rooms where people may fall asleep.
20. Never burn a candle if medical oxygen is used in the home.
Candle Safety Questions? Call 860-216-2785 anytime
21. Anytime you have any concerns about how to make your home safer from fire, please contact
SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860.216.2785. In an emergency you can call us 24/7.
We've served clients in Avon, Agawam, Bloomfield, Coventry, East Hartford, East Longmeadow, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Hartford, Manchester, Newington, Simsbury, South Windsor, Springfield, West Hartford, and beyond.
More Safety Information
Every month on the SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield blog we publish educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water or other damage.
SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield
100 Peters Road
Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002
Ralph DiCristofaro, Nat Landon, Ron DeFeo
Certified SERVPRO technicians
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