Electricity is great – it helps us stay warm during the colder months or cool in the summer, keeps our homes bright and alive, allows us to eat a warm meal anytime we want, enables us to have access to many forms of entertainment, and the list goes on.
While electricity has made our lives a lot more convenient, it comes with several risks. That’s why everyone should be aware of how to be responsible when using electricity to stay safe. In the United States, the annual number of residential fires has seen a steady decline since the 1980s.
However, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), incidents of house fires still occur more than 360,000 times every year, causing more than 2,500 deaths. Here are some ways you can prevent your home and family from being part of the fire statistics:
Stay safe in the kitchen
According to NFPA reports, 42% of residential fires originate in the kitchen. This makes cooking the leading cause of home fires in the country, according to fire experts and electricians here in Sandy Although it may seem like common knowledge, a lot of people tend to forget how dangerous it is to leave a lit stove unattended.
If you really need to be away from the kitchen for a bit when you’re cooking, make sure to turn off all the burners. To make sure you won’t forget to check up on your food from time to time, set a timer before you leave.
Paper, wood, fabric, and packaged food can easily catch fire, so make sure to put all of these away from your stove burners. Finally, all electrical appliances should be plugged straight into a wall outlet and not an extension cord. Be careful when using any of your smaller kitchen appliances.
Get some smoke detectors installed
Among the main reasons house fire fatalities have continued over the years are smoke detectors. When you have these at home, you’ll get an early warning in case of a fire, giving you and your family ample time to escape.
Requirements from current building codes state that every bedroom should have one smoke detector plus an additional one outside each of the sleeping area. These smoke detectors should all be wired together so that if one of them goes off, everything else will go off as well.
So, if possible, install a smoke detector on every level of your house. Once you have them installed, make sure to test them regularly. Fire experts recommend replacing the batteries during daylight saving time and do a monthly test of your alarms to make sure they’re still working properly.
Also, keep your detectors clean at all times by getting rid of any dust and cobwebs. This will help prevent false alarms.
When you’re not using an appliance, make sure to unplug it – this is perhaps the simplest electrical safety tip yet also the easiest for many to forget. If you’re too busy and find it difficult to remember to unplug any unused appliance at home, there are smart plugs now available in the market that allow users to set power schedules for every outlet.