- Use Only GFCI Outlets in rooms with water or high moisture. Kitchens, bathrooms, workshops with sinks, and laundry rooms should have GFCI outlets. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and these outlets are designed to cut the power supply if they sense moisture. If you are not sure if of what those outlets look like, they have buttons on them that say “test” and “reset” and have three-prong plug stations.
- Don’t overload your outlets by plugging too much in a single outlet. Don’t use extension cords and extension plugs as a permanent solution. Outlets are designed to convey a certain amount of electricity so using extension cords and power strips can overload the circuit. This is one of the most common reasons for electrical fires, and it’s entirely preventable. If you have to do it, instead use a surge protector that cuts power if it senses a problem.
- Avoid leaving things plugged in all the time that don’t need to be plugged in all the time. For example, things like your toaster or hair straightener that you might not use everyday don’t need to stay plugged in all the time. Another good is example is a space heater or an electric blanket, never leave those plugged in when not in use, those are notorious for causing electrical fires.
- Replace old appliances that are more likely to malfunction and start electrical fires. Signs to look for are frayed cords, sparks, excessive heat coming from the device.
- Schedule a regular electrical safety inspection if you have concerns. Electrical safety inspections also provide great peace of mind for home buyers if you are thinking of selling.