Thousands of deadly fires every year can be traced to simple household conveniences: lamps, light fixtures and extension cords. Electrical switches and outlets are responsible for thousands more fires. Altogether, 40,000 residential fires and 350 deaths a year are caused by problems with electrical wiring systems, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
To keep your home safe, the National Electrical Safety Foundation recommends:
- Checking outlets and extension cords to make sure they aren't overloaded.
- Examining electrical cords to make sure they aren't frayed, damaged or placed under rugs or carpets.
- Making sure that the proper wattage light bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps.
- Installing ground fault circuit interrupters to protect against severe electric shocks and electrocution.
- Checking smoke detectors and replacing batteries annually.
- Following the manufacturer's instructions on all electrical devices.
For more information and a Home Electrical Safety Check booklet, send a 55¢ stamped self-addressed No. 10 (business size) envelope to:
National Electrical Safety Foundation
1300 North 17th Street, Suite 1847
Roslyn, VA 22209
Additional safety information is available at http://www.esfi.org/.