Homeowner Electrical Safety – Checklist 1 – Cords & Plugs
According to the National Fire Prevention Associatioin (NFPA), 49% of home electrical fires are caused by faulty, or unsafely installed lighting or electrical distribution equipment. In many of these cases, the resulting deaths (420 in 2010), injured (1,520 in 2010) and direct property damage ($1.5 billion in 2010) could have been avoided.
You already practice fire safety, but fire prevention is the best way to protect your family – and that starts with ensuring that your electrical systems and appliances are functioning properly and safely. Run through this checklist regularly, since electrical malfunction can happen at any time and for many reasons. Always contact your most reliable licensed electrician to keep your Long Island home safe and free from electrical hazards.
✓ Cords & Plugs
▢ Check all cords, plugs, surge protectors and extension cords for frayed casing, exposed wire or broken components. Replace immediately.
▢ Never run extension cords under carpets or over door thresholds.
▢ Don’t use an extension cord as a permanent fixture. If you need additional outlets, contact a licensed electrician to install some wherever you require.
▢ Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging a device into the outlet.
▢ Do not overload one outlet with several high-wattage or heat-producing devices, for example a space heater or coffee maker.
▢ Plugs should fit snugly into outlets. If yours do not, contact a licensed electrician.
▢ Major appliances – washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, hot water heaters, etc. – should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Do not use surge protectors, plug strips or extension cords.
▢ Only use water resistant extension cords in damp areas (like the basement).
✓ Warning Signs
If you experience any of these warning signs, call a licensed electrician immediately:
✘ You feel a tingling sensation when you touch a plug or light switch.
✘ Your circuit breaker flips frequently or fuses blow regularly.
✘ Your outlet plates are warm to the touch or discolored.
✘ An outlet sparks.
✘ Your lights dim or flicker.