Electrical wiring problems are one of the most common sources of home fires in the US, these are estimated to account for more than 50,000 home fires each year – and over 500 deaths. This is particularly regrettable because the vast majority of electrical fires are avoidable, or at least would be with some proper precautions and maintenance.
At RD Matthews Electrical Contracting, we always work with our Northern Virginia customers to help them keep their homes as safe as possible. The following are some of the most important tips we share.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Electrical Fires in Your Home
1. Never remove the third prong from electrical plugs
The third prong on electrical plugs is there to act as a ground and reduce the risks of a fire stemming from an electrical surge. This should never be removed! If you are working with older outlets, or older power strips, that only allow for two prongs, it’s much safer to upgrade them to three-hole versions, if possible.
2. Never daisy-chain power strips
The use of power strips can increase your chances of fire because it becomes easier to over-load a single power outlet in the wall. However, these chances go way up if you start daisy-chaining multiple power strips together. If you must use power strips, always put each one on a separate outlet.
3. Unplug heat-producing devices when not in use
The most dangerous electrical devices are generally those intended to produce heat – curling irons, toasters, clothing irons, and so forth. If something should ever go wrong, and they activate when not needed, they can easily start a fire. Fortunately, the solution here is simple; just unplug them when you aren’t using them.
4. Know the warning signs of a faulty device
If a device is having electrical issues, there are often clear signs including:
- The plug or wire becoming extremely hot
- Irratic behavior in the device (intermittent operation)
- Feeling an electrical tingle when holding the device
- Burning smell when in use
If you see any of these red flags, that device could be dangerous and should be repaired or replaced.
5. Consider periodic evaluations
Whether your panel is a 60 amp, 100 amp or higher, it is a good idea to have your electrical system evaluated and connections tightened every 5-10 years.
Get Electrical Wiring Installation in Northern Virginia
RD Matthews Electrical Contracting is a top northern Virginia electrical contractor. If your home needs electrical wiring installation and upgrades, call us to make it happen.