3/24/2005 - Electrical safety tips

Experts say people can protect their homes in several ways:

  • Have older homes inspected yearly by a qualified inspector or electrician, and fix problems immediately.

  • Don't overload electrical circuits by plugging in too many appliances.

  • Avoid attaching a two-prong adapter to a three-prong plug, and inserting it into an outlet that's not grounded.

  • Watch for loose, unattached wires hanging from the ceiling or suspended from the walls. Such wires indicate shoddy workmanship.

  • Conduct self-tests, such as resetting circuit breakers, to make sure they'll function properly.

  • Install "firestops," or wooden beams or platform frames, inside balloon-frame walls to impede the progress of a fire.

  • Ensure access to fire escapes through a window.

  • Know your electrical circuit. Know which outlets and products are connected to each circuit.

  • Immediately disconnect any electrical product if problems develop and have it examined by a competent professional.

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions on what types of electrical connections are needed for all electrical appliances.
  • Source: The Record: Homeowners can act to prevent electrical fires