If you’re reading this post you’re probably using it, namely electricity. It’s the pulse of our homes and our workplaces and powers our lives. It can also be deadly.
According to the NFPA, some 24,000 fires originated from faulty wiring between 2007 and 2011. 455 people die in those fires and 1,500 people were injured.
Here’s a list of things that you can do to make sure your home is safe:
- Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) into a receptacle outlet at a time.
- Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are a kind of circuit breaker that shuts off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home. Use a qualified electrician.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock. GFCIs shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. They should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and basements. All outdoor receptacles should be GFCI-protected.
- Test AFCIs and GFCIs once a month to make sure they’re working properly.
- Check electrical cords to make sure they’re not running across doorways or under carpets.
- Extension cords are intended for temporary use; have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. There should be a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb to use.