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Home Fires Caused by Wiring


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Annually there are over 67,000 fires in homes accounting for over $800 million property damage and many of the fires could have been prevented. In addition to this, almost 500 people lose their lives and more than 2000 are injured in these fires. . This is a tremendous toll of damage to properties and people. With more diligence these numbers could be reduced dramatically.

Most home owners assume they are immune to home fires because the house is new or only adults live there. With improving building codes, fires have been reduced, but home electrical wiring is still a major cause of home fires. Old wiring, faulty outlets, damaged appliance cords, over and wrong use of extension cords, overloading circuits are but a few causes of these fires. Wiring causes more fires than electrical appliances such as electric ranges and ovens, dryers, radios, TVs, record players and sometimes the central heating unit.

Even in our busy lives and sometimes denial, there are some things we should do to protect our lives and property. Here are but a few:

1. Routinely check the wiring of your electrical appliances if it is viewable. The major problem here is frayed, cracked or cut sheathing. If you find this problem, replace the damaged cord immediately. If an appliance has a three-prong plug, DO NOT force it into a 2 slot outlet or extension cord. Do not power appliances with long extension cords unless the cord is properly rated. Often long cords also become hazards if they extend into traffic patterns. Don't risk breaking wires by pinching them behind furniture or stretching them to a TV, entertainment center, etc.

2. Do not overload wall sockets and if children are present, child proof the sockets.

3. If you touch a wall light switch and it is warm or hot, it needs to be replaced. If you have lights that flicker when they are turned on by the wall switch, this is an indication that the switch should be replaced.

4. Children should not be allowed to play around electrical appliances such as space heaters or even hair dryers and irons. Keep children at least 3 feet away from a space heater for fear they may turn it over or get close enough for their clothes to catch fire. An electric iron can be the source of a home fire if not properly used and many younger children do not understand this.

5. Many newer homes have circuit breaker switches in bathrooms and kitchens. This is a safety measure because water is near-by. Never use appliances near wet floors or counters even if your home has these breakers.

6. During holiday seasons such as Christmas, use special precautions when using extension cords. There is always the tendency to plug too much into too little, and if lights are left on when away from home, you are inviting trouble.

Even with the most diligence, it is expedient that fire extinguishes recommended for electrical fires be placed strategically around the house and all members of the family become familiar with their use.

Some foresight and frequent inspection is well worth the time and energy spent! Protect yourself, your family and your property!

Security And Wellbeing is a site devoted to helping you secure your home and/or your business. You will also find items for your pet, the nursery, and personal security. Items are added to increase your home automation and organization and well as items for your personal well being.


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