The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has officially named October as Fire Prevention Month and this week October 9-15, 2016 as Fire Prevention Week. As your local electrical contractor, we understand the importance of promoting fire safety and educating the community on fire prevention tips.
Why is fire safety important?
NFPA reported the following stats from 2015:
365,500 – Number of Home Fires in 2015
3 out of 5 – Home fire deaths without working smoke alarms
43% – Home fires that start in the kitchen
78% – Deaths caused by home fires in 2015
Many homeowners are aware of potential fire hazards in their homes such as candles and open flame stoves but what other fire hazards could potentially be hidden in your home?
Many people don’t think of wiring as a danger; mostly because it’s out of sight so out of mind but electrical fires have accounted for more than 50,000 home fires a year, plus $1.5 billion in property damages. One way you can protect your home and family is to replace circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters. These can protect your home by detecting dangerous electrical arcs and stop them before they start a fire.
According to the 2015 NFPA Home Structure Fire Report cooking equipment was the number one cause of home fires but a cluttered kitchen can be at an increased risk. Paper towels, pot holders, and recipe cards are all combustible materials and should be kept at least 3-foot zone between combustible materials and the burners.
The leading cause of home clothes dryer is failure to clean them. Even if you empty your lint tray every time you dry your clothes, the material still builds up inside the dryer cabinet, which holds its heating element and is usually located at the back or bottom of the machine. To minimize the risk, clean the cabinet every two years.
Over time you may notice that outlets loosen and cords start to fall out easily. Many think of this as a nuisance, but these loosened outlets can generate intense heat that can lead to fires. If you start to notice your plugs are loosening over time, replace the outlet as soon as possible.
When dust collects near electrical sockets or floor heaters, one spark can cause a fire. Sweep or vacuum your floors to prevent buildup of dust bunnies and pay close attention to hard to reach areas, such as behind doors or around entertainment systems.