Electrical Fire Safety Tips: Protecting Your Electronics From Fire Damage
Electrical fires might start with small sparks but spread quickly, becoming uncontrollable within seconds. These incidents are often caused by overheating, electrical malfunctioning, wiring issues, or malfunctioning.
You can protect your homes by mitigating the risk of smoke and fire damage with electrical fire safety tips.
Let’s have a look.
Prevent Appliances from Overheating
Electric currents running wires and electrical devices produce heat. Excessive heat generation can lead to electrical fires. You can prevent this from occurring by storing plugs and cords safely, along with adopting other safety habits.
Here are some precautionary measures to take:
- Avoid overloading outlets by plugging in multiple devices in the same spot. Use individual outlets for each appliance or use extension cords wherever possible.
- Never hide cords and electrical wiring under carpets, rugs, furniture, or bedding as the flammable material might catch fire due to overheating.
- Don’t place cords in areas with high foot traffic (i.e. doorways and staircases) as these tripping hazards can damage cord insulation. Consequently, it can lead to an unequal distribution of electricity, which may result in an electrical fire
- Minimize electric shocks and excessive heating by ensuring that the plugs are not loosely placed in outlets.
- Don’t overcharge your devices.
In short, ensure that your appliances and wiring system doesn’t combust because it’s receiving an uncontrollable amount of electrical energy.
Replace and Repair Damaged Electrical Cords/Appliances
Maintaining electrical appliances serves as an essential electrical fire safety tip. Using damaged power cords or devices can either cause a home fire or get someone electrocuted.
Other things to consider:
- Replace cords that look frayed and cracked.
- Never leave spliced cords exposed as they can be highly dangerous for you and your home.
- Get your appliances checked by a professional when they begin to malfunction.
- Look for replacements when your old electronics cross their lifetime warranty date.
Create a routine schedule to check your devices and wiring system for signs of overuse. Additionally, clean your appliances regularly to prevent the buildup of dust and gases that could cause the appliance to combust when it’s plugged.
These steps help you spot and resolve electrical issues before they turn into a fire accident.
Don’t Forget to Unplug Unused Electronics
It’s one of the simplest and most forgotten electrical safety tips. People often forget to unplug their devices and switch off outlets when they are not in use, creating an active fire hazard indoors.
Unplugging appliances stops potential phantom drain. That means it prevents your appliances from consuming unwanted energy when they are not being used. Additionally, it protects your electronics from overcharging, overheating, and malfunctioning due to power surges. In turn, this reduces the risk of an electrical fire.
You can install heating appliances and purchase electrical products with an automatic shutoff mode. The safety feature will put the devices on a sleep mode or cut-off supply when the electrical appliances are inactive for a designated period. Subsequently, these features prevent devices from overheating.
Apart from this, use smart plugs to detect electrical consumption and make adjustments in the power supply accordingly.
Fireproof Storage Tips for Electrical Appliances
Sometimes storage mistakes can result in electrical fires. For example, stowing electronics in poorly ventilated cabinets might cause them to get overcharged or excessively heated. In addition to that, you must look at the layout of your wires and power cords.
Here are some storage rules to promote electrical safety:
- Cords and wires can become overstretched if you wrap them around furniture or keep them tangled. Not only will this cause overheating, but it will damage their insulated covering. Both of these things can result in an electrical fire.
- Never keep portable heaters close to flammable objects such as drapery, upholstery, clothes, etc.
- Ensure that all your electronic appliances have some breathing space between each other to promote air circulation and equalize internal and external heat distribution
- Place heating appliances (like gas/electrical generators, dryers, and space heaters) a few feet apart from the wall to stop emitted heat from accumulating in one place
- Keep all electronics on dry surfaces and elevated areas to prevent water damage.
- Avoid storing electrical appliances (mainly hair styling tools and dryers) in the bathroom, where they might come in contact with water.
Furthermore, you should use electronic appliances on a stable surface to prevent them from tipping over.
The Red Flags
Constant vigilance remains the key to avoid preventable electrical fires. We’ve listed some tell-tale signs of faulty wiring systems and damaged electronics that require immediate attention.
Call an electrician when:
- The circuit breakers trip more than usual
- Cords, outlets, and switch plates appear discolored and faded
- You have had to handle blown fuses frequently
- The lights have become dim and the voltage flickers
- The outlets, switchboards, and electrical appliances are hot to touch
- You notice an acrid smell emitting near an outlet
- You see small sparks when you plug your device
You can reduce the risk of home fires and accidents by practicing our electrical safety tips. Never overwork your wiring system and always keep devices in a dry and elevated place. These small changes can protect your electronics from major fire damage.
However, if you still become a victim of an electrical fire, know that help is on the way.
911 Restoration runs a 24-hour emergency restoration service for smoke and fire damage. Our trained specialists know how to mitigate the situation and restore homes. We also offer boarding-up services and insurance support to the residents of Kansas City.
Call (913) 227-4578 for help during electrical fire emergencies.