Many home fires occur when electrical equipment is outdated or improperly used. Protect your family from fire and other electrical hazards by using this checklist. These simple and easy steps will help you to identify and to correct electrical dangers commonly found in homes.
- Check the wattage of all bulbs in your lights. A bulb of too-high wattage may lead to fire through overheating.
- Check all lamp cords and extension cords. Shock or fire hazards can result from damaged cords.
- Extension cords are not as safe as permanent house wiring. Have receptacles installed where they are needed.
- Check all wall outlets and switches. Are outlets and switches cool to the touch? Unusually warm outlets or switches may indicate an unsafe wiring condition exists.
- Do you hear crackling, sizzling or buzzing from your outlets? Call a licensed electrician to identify the cause.
- Check for the presence and proper placement of smoke alarms and test each one. Smoke alarms should be located on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
- Check counter top appliances. Cords can be damaged by excess heat.
- Are the bathroom outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCis)? GFCis should be installed in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where the risk of electric shock is high. Test them regularly.
- Is your fuse box or circuit breaker box appropriately labeled? Labeling helps to easily identify what circuits power each room in your home.