Every year, in the Unites States alone, there are 28,600 electrical fires (according to the US Fire Administration). These fires are responsible for $1.1 billion in property damage cost, 310 deaths, and 1,100 injuries. To add to that, approximately 400 people die yearly from electrocution, and 4,400 are injured. These are outrageous numbers! And the sad thing is that most of these disasters could have been prevented.
So, how can we be careful? What can we do to prevent this from happening to our families, friends, and colleagues?
All it takes is one little spark, or just a little bit of overheating, and we could have a big problem on our hands. Below are some things we can do or have done to save a lot of time and trouble.
SMALL Precautions: YOU CAN COMPLETE THESE ELECTRIC REPAIRS (DIY)
- Space Heaters: Because of their portability many people end up placing heaters next to flammable objects, like bedding, curtains, clothing, etc. Always keep space heaters from touching any items in our home or business that could ignite.
- Lighting: Putting bulbs in a lighting fixture or lamp that do not match wattage is another common cause of electrical fires. Never go over the recommended wattage of your lamp and this won’t be a problem. Also, never place paper or cloth over a lampshade. The heat from the lamp-light could cause it to combust.
- Cords: Many fires are caused by outdated appliances with worn or frayed cords. Never use an appliance with a worn cord, nor wrap the cord tightly while using (this can cause overheating). Both of these are big dangers.
- Another similar problem is when people remove the grounding prong (that’s the third prong on a plug) in order for a plug to fit in a two-pronged outlet. The grounding prong is there for a reason! This helps to ensure that only outlets are used that can handle the large amounts of electricity the appliance needs to operate. Without it, we have a fire, or large surge of electricity, just waiting to happen.
- The last similar issue is when people use an extension cord permanently. Extension cords are only meant to be used temporarily, not indefinitely. Plug your appliance into an appropriate electrical outlet. If you don’t have enough outlets for your appliances, hire a professional electrician to put some in for you.
- Old Outlets and Wiring: By far the most electrical disasters come from old or faulty outlets. This may be the case in an older home that can’t handle all of the electricity we are demanding of its wiring. Or, it could be that the outlet was wired incorrectly in the first place.Under good wiring conditions, if circuits happen to get overloaded then breakers should be triggered, thus preventing anything bad from happening. Outdated breaker boxes, however, often will not respond correctly to an overload and a fire will start.
If you think that you may have faulty outlets, that your building wiring is old, or that your breaker box is out of date, hire an electrician to fix the problem for you. This will prevent disaster!
- Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter: An arc occurs when an electrical current goes where it shouldn’t because of a surge of heat produced by the wiring. When this happens the very high heat can ignite anything around it – like wood framing and insulation. To prevent this problem enters: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). The AFCI is a type of circuit breaker, but it differs from an ordinary circuit breaker in that it provides much greater fire protection. It monitors the circuits for arcing conditions, and immediately disconnects the circuit before it gets the chance to cause a problem. The AFCI is so helpful that the National Electric Code decreed that one should be included in all newly built homes. But, older homes are even more susceptible to arcing issues. Be preventative. Call an electrician.
- Electrical Inspection: An inspection is especially important if you are new to the residence or if you have an older building. Over time, a building’s wiring starts to have some issues. You may have loose wires, faulty wiring, or shorts, which all increase the risk of electrical fires and electrocution. Hire a certified electrician soon to give your home or business an inspection. He will be able to tell you whether your wiring is safe or if it needs some electric repairs. In either case, you will be preventing disaster!
WHO SHOULD I HIRE FOR ELECTRIC REPAIRS?
As always you want to get the best possible work for the best possible price. But, with your home and business electricity, it is not the place to compromise. Always hire a professionally licensed electrician. That way you will get the best work for the best price, because you will know that everything was done to code, ensuring the safety of everyone.
If you live in the greater Colorado Springs, Colorado area, call up Wire Works Co. We would be thrilled to help you with your electric repairs.
Wire Works Company Incorporated
102 S Tejon Street Suite 1100
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
Phone: (719) 492-6955
Wire Works Co Inc provides electrical wiring in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today – our specialized consultations can take your backup power installation, commercial electrician jobs, & circuit breaker trip troubleshooting to the next level. Our electricians are certified and hold all proper licensing & insurance.