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Electrical Fires Can Be Avoided

July 1, 2024

Electrical Fires Can Be Avoided

Home fires started by malfunctioning electric appliances and fixtures or faulty wiring kill nearly 500 Americans each year and cause $1.3 billion in property damage. But many electrical fires can be prevented simply by following safe practices.

“The statistics are staggering and disturbing, “says Chris Perry, president, and CEO of Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. “But behind the statistics are our families, friends and neighbors. Hearing about anyone injured in an electrical fire is what’s most upsetting. Oftentimes, injuries or the fire itself could have been avoided.”

Electrical fires can start from improperly installed or outdated wiring; faulty outlets; loose connections between the wiring and switch, outlet or fixture; exposed wires on cords, including extension cords and device cords; problems with light fixtures, lamps and outdated appliances; and misuse of electrical cords or outlets, such as running cords under rugs or overloading circuits and outlets with extension receptacles, causing them to overheat.

If you experience dimming or flickering lights, unusual burning odors, unusual buzzing or sizzling sounds, or circuit breakers that trip repeatedly, contact a qualified electrician immediately. Don’t ignore these problem signs.

Installing smoke detectors is a proactive way to keep the home and family safe in case of a fire. Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of a home and tested regularly.

A fire escape plan should also be in place and practiced regularly. Make sure any fire extinguishers are labeled for Class C, or electrical fires. Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of firesand will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B-C.

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