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Ten Steps to making your home safer from electrical fires

Plugs on surge protector
Plugs on surge protector
Plugs on surge protector

Shield your space. Learn essential steps to safeguard your home against electrical fire hazards.

Even if you're a seasoned homeowner, you need to give your home the occasional electrical checkup to ensure that your wiring, circuit breakers, outlets, and plugs are in good working order. To help, we've created a list of simple tips and to-do's so you can double-check that your home is wired for safety.  

Home electrical safety checklist

1. Keep appliances away from water. Unplug any appliance before you wash or wipe it down.  

2. Cover outlets. If you have children in the house, put protectors on all your outlets or replace them with tamper-resistant outlets.

3. Replace frayed wires. Worn out wires can potentially cause shocks or fires.

4. Make sure plugs fit securely. Replace all plugs that wobble or fit loosely in the socket. Never force a plug into a socket and never attempt to adjust a plug’s metal prongs to make it fit. Both actions are dangerous!

5. Ensure safe placement. Make sure all plugs and cords are kept a safe distance from heat sources such as radiators or space heaters. Don't place furniture on top of cords or run cords under rugs or blankets.

6. Don’t DIY a generator. Never plug a generator directly into your home's electrical system, as this can unintentionally damage appliances or even put you at risk. Hire an electrician to get it done safety.

7. Make sure cords outside are for outdoor use. When outside, only use cords (and items) labeled for outdoor use.

8. Don’t rely on extension cords. Extension cords are a temporary solution and shouldn't be used to power home appliances on a permanent basis. Most extension cords aren't built to handle high-powered items such as air conditioners, refrigerators, or space heaters. Don't leave extension cords plugged in if they're not in use, as they can create an electrical or fire hazard.

9. Know when to call a pro. If you have breakers tripping and fuses blowing on a regular basis, dimming or flickering lights, hear a sizzling sound, or smell a burning odor, get a professional in ASAP to investigate. These are warning signs from your house that something’s not right.

10. Invest in annual maintenance. Having an electrical protection plan  can save you money down the line. You can also hire a licensed electrician and they can inspect your electrical systems annually, check your electrical panel, tighten any wires that need it, and even use an infrared tester to identify which circuit breakers are getting too hot in the fuse box. This keeps your electrical system working efficiently and gives you peace of mind about the safety of your home

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