According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, we had about 45,210 residential electrical fires in the United States each year. These tragic fires led to about 420 civilian deaths each year and 1,370 injuries. Can you imagine if you lost a loved one to a home electrical fire? One of the major causes of home electrical fires is overloaded electrical circuits, says the Electrical Safety Foundation.
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you can help prevent electrical fires by not overloading your home’s electrical system.
What are the warning signs of an overloaded circuit?
- Lights that are blinking, flickering, or dimming
- Frequent blown fuses
- Frequent tripped circuit breakers
- Wall plates that are warm or discolored
- Wall outlets that are cracking, buzzing or sizzling
- A burning odor coming from wall switches or outlets
- You get a mild tingle or shock from switches, outlets or appliances
Preventing Electrical Overloads in the Home
- Never use an extension cord for an appliance.
- Always plug major appliances directly into a wall outlet.
- Only plug one space heater in an outlet at a time.
- If you have to rely heavily on extension cords, this is an indicator that you don’t have enough outlets to meet your needs.
- Keep in mind that while power strips add additional outlets, they do not change how much power comes from one outlet.
- When using a lighting fixture, use the appropriate watt bulb. If you use a larger watt light bulb, it could cause a deadly fire.
We hope this blog has helped you better-understand electrical safety in the home. Please share the information with your friends and family – you could save a life. To learn more about electrical safety, check out “Preventing Electrical Fires.” To schedule a service call, contact our Atlanta electrical contractors today!