Protect Your Family From Electrical Fires
Guest/partnered post: Know the preventive measures and signs of an electrical fire to protect your family home
By: Sharon Jiang, CableWholesale
Plugging in your heater, turning on your TV, flipping a light switch can all potentially lead to a house fire. During 2011-2015, U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated average of 358,000 house fires per year, of these 45,210 accounted for electrical fires. As parents, it is part of who we are to ensure our home is safe. Always on the go, the last thing on a parent’s mind is electrical fires. It is the everyday appliances, cords, switches that can lead to sparking a fire.
We need to know the warning signs of an electrical fire in order to prevent a house fire. To ensure safety in your home, this is what I recommend:
Placement: Not only is placement of cords vital to avoid stumbling but it is also important to be aware of your cords surroundings and placement. Ensure that cords— especially extension cords—are not run under carpets, across doorways, or placed under appliances as this can trap heat causing the cord to overheat and possibly catch fire. Most extension cords are meant for temporary use and are not built to withstand extreme use over an extended period of time. Cords overheating are a major contributor to electrical house fires. Creating safe distances between objects such as heaters and appliances when in use is necessary. At an unsafe distance, a minor spark can result in a fire depending on its location and what’s around to fuel the flames.
Quality: Poor quality cables may be easier on your wallet but they are worse on your house as they may not be up to safety standards or certified. High-quality cables are made with professionally constructed pure copper wire and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved meaning they have been tested for safety. Proven safety testing factors into longevity – helping you save money and stay safe. Copper-clad aluminum cables (CCA) may be cheaper than copper wire but do not reach safety standards, fray easily, and can heat up faster because CCA cables are not built to handle modern-day electricity, putting your home at risk of a fire. Be careful as non-reputable cable companies will sell CCA cables online, which is illegal in the US because the cable cannot pass UL testing.
Inspection: When inspecting electrical sources always be extra cautious – do not go beyond your expertise, that’s an electrician’s job. Be sure to examine electrical cords in your home to see if they have any damage, such as fraying because this allows electricity to run through the cord and out onto whatever is in its proximity, making it catch fire. If you own an older home, throw away outdated cords and replace them with new models. Using the cords that came with the 50 year old house or that grandma gave you will not do. Outdated cords can potentially not be up to current fire standards or code – it’s not a risk worth taking. If it unclear if the cords or wires are up to code, look into hiring an electrician to inspect.
Use Surge Protectors: There are many types of surge protectors including wall tap (to increase the number of outlets at the wall) and extension surge protectors that typically give you more outlets plus more reach. Like all cords and cables, not all surge protectors are created equal. Be sure to choose the right type and number of outlets for your specific situation.
Misuse of Specific Designs: Not all cords and cables are meant to perform the same way. Know what cables and cords are meant to be used for specific appliances or objects. For example, thicker extension cords can take in more electricity, whereas thinner extension cords could never do this at the risk of overheating. Overloading electrical cords with extreme levels of electricity can not only damage the object itself but spark a fire if the cord overheats and melts.
You may be surprised to know these simple recommendations can make a difference in the safety of your home. Upgrading your home’s electrical system and making it a priority to inspect wires, cables, and cords in your home will bring you and your home relief.
Sharon Jiang Bio:
For the past 20 years, Sharon Jiang has been committed to providing customers with products that exceed the norms of performance, quality, value, and safety. Sharon is proud to have grown CableWholesale out of a one-car garage in Cupertino, CA into an international business.
I hope you found this information on how to protect your family from electrical fires helpful!