It’s October, which means it’s time for one of our favorite celebrations of the year here at Arnold Electric.
But we’re not talking about Oktoberfest. Or Halloween.
Not even Mike Ditka’s birthday…
No, we can’t wait for FIRE PREVENTION WEEK!!!
Arnold Electric gets called in to address MULTIPLE electrical fires every week. Most of the incidents are small fires, but each and every one has the potential to be much worse. Remember, an electrical fire can burn three times hotter than the surface of the sun!
We actually keep a bin of burnt up and charred plugs, switches, breakers and wires in our office as a reminder of why we do what we do because at the end of the day, our services are all about keeping people (and their homes) safe.
If you keep these simple things in mind, you can preemptively keep incidents as harmless as possible.
The number one cause of electrical fires in older homes is a lack of electrical system maintenance. Electricity is a little different than other utilities. You can see or hear water dripping from a leaky pipe. You can feel when air is (or isn’t) blowing from your HVAC system. But electricity? You could be moments away from disaster and never know it as long as the lights are on and your phone keeps charging overnight.
What’s important to keep in mind is if your home is more than 5 years old, there’s a 100% chance that an unsafe or worn out electrical component is creating the potential for an electrical fire. You just don’t know it yet, and there’s nothing you can do other than to stay on top of it with annual inspections.
Cut The Extension Cords
Okay, don’t literally cut your extension cords, just cut down on how often you use them. Think about it this way: if you’ve got an extension cord plugged in on a regular basis, you’re probably using it too much. You know the tag on your extension cord? The one you cut off and threw away right before plugging it in for the first time? Well, that label warns you an extension cord is meant for temporary use only, should never be overloaded or warm to the touch and should never be placed across a walkway or through a hole in the wall or floor.
Make sure you’re not using an extension cord meant for indoor use outside, and don’t use either in wet or damp situations. The absolute most important thing to remember about extension cords is they should never be placed behind a wall as a “permanent” wiring method. If you find yourself in that situation, you, your house, your family and even your neighbors would be better off adding additional circuits and permanent, wall-mounted outlets.
Bigger Breakers Are A Bad Idea
One thing every homeowner should know is that a circuit breaker is not designed to protect you. Breakers are intended to protect wires from overheating and melting. That’s it.
So if the 15-amp breaker in your kitchen trips every morning from powering your toaster and coffee pot, the solution is NOT to swap it out with a 20 or 30 amp breaker. All that will do is roast the wire in the conduit, toast the breaker up in your panel and ruin your breaker box. If you’re experiencing a tripping breaker, the best solution is to consult with a licensed electrician that can evaluate what the real issue is. After all, that’s the only way to find the real solution!
Contact Arnold Electric for Professional Service
By keeping our tips in mind, you’ll be closer than ever to keeping your home and your loved ones safe. If you’re ready to schedule an electrical inspection, the talented professionals at Arnold Electric are ready to help! Don’t hesitate to schedule a visit now!
Happy Fire Safety Prevention Week, everybody!