Take Precautions Against Electrical Fires
In March, six people in Winston-Salem lost their home to an electrical fire. After a shorted electrical outlet, firefighters were called in to tame the blaze. However, the fire consumed most of the home and left the owners temporarily homeless. On a larger scale, the U.S. Fire Administration reports about 25,000 electrical fires each year, resulting in the deaths of 1,300 people. Here’s the thing about electrical fires: No one thinks they will fall victim to one. In all reality, none of us are exempt from the tragedy of an electrical fire; it happened in our own backyard of Winston-Salem. Restoration 1 is available 24 hours a day if a fire disaster happens to you! Thankfully, electrical fires are preventable to some extent. Here are some practical steps to take to prevent electrical fires and the resulting fire damage that ensues.
- Get an electrical inspection – If you have an older home, hire a reputable electrician to inspect the wiring. Wires aren’t meant to last forever, but most homeowners don’t think to rewire their home. This step is especially important if your home is constructed from aluminum wiring since aluminum wiring is more flammable than copper wiring. Additionally, ask your electrician if your home has 12-AWG (the recommended thickness to meet the demand of today’s appliances) or a thinner 14- AWG wire. Invest the money necessary to replace outdated or thin wires with newer, stronger material.
- Buy the right power strips – Let’s be honest. When we hear people tell us not to use power strips, we plug our ears and live blissfully unaware of the dangers of overloaded power strips. Here are new instructions: it’s okay to use power strips. However, they absolutely must be equipped with internal overload protection. Probably every home in America has at least one power strip nestled behind the computer desk that is overburdened with plugs. To ensure an electrically fireproof home, replace power strips with higher quality ones built with internal overload protection. These can be found online or at a hardware store for a relatively inexpensive price.
- Take an inventory – Since it’s time for spring cleaning, take a minute to inventory your electrical appliances. Do you have a vacuum with a frayed cord? Maybe a phone charger with unraveling wires? A TV that has been around for one too many years? It’s nice to live without replacing these things. If they work, they work. Right? With most things in life, it’s okay to wear out, run out, and use out. However, with electricity, the risk isn’t worth the saved expense. Take ten minutes this weekend to inventory your appliances. Get rid of everything that seems a little questionable. You’ll thank yourself next time you read about an electrical fire caused by a faulty toaster wire (trust us, there are plenty of those stories out there). If a fire does occur in your property – your inventory list will help through the insurance claim process.
Electrical fires are more intimidating than normal fires. It’s difficult to know when one will happen and why it will happen. After the catastrophic fire damage, there remains work to be done. If fire damage has ravaged your home, electrical or other, call Restoration 1 of Winston-Salem. We have experience restoring homes from all types of fire.