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Checklist for Electrical Safety at Home

Most house fires start with an electrical malfunction. Some of the risky equipment include washers, fans, and dryers. While fire safety is important, preventive measures are far more useful. This includes ensuring that your electrical appliances and systems are in proper order and are running safely. If you are concerned about the safety of your family, go through this checklist:

1.Cords and Plugs
Make sure that all cords,plugs,extension cords, and surge protectors are properly encased.In case they are not,you need to make sure that any frayed casing, broken components, and exposed wires are replaced immediately.It is never safe to run extension cords under the carpets or over door thresholds.This can increase the risk of an accident. Always remember that an extension cord is not a permanent fixture. If you require an additional outlet, contact your electrical professional to install one. Read the instructions written for using certain devices and electrical equipment and always plug them directly into a wall outlet. In damp areas, install water-resistant extension cords for safety. Check your electrical devices and outlets for warmth or discolouration.

2.Lighting Fixtures
For lighting fixtures, it is best to use them at or below the maximum wattage as listed on the package. Make sure that you place all your lamps on levelled and flat surfaces and away from flammable materials such as curtains.

3.Appliances
It is always best to keep heat-producing appliances away from flammable materials and combustible goods. Remove all kitchen and bathroom appliances when they are not in use. And keep your exhaust fans free of lint and grease. Do not keep a portable heater in damp areas. In the bathroom, only use strip heaters or a ceiling unit if need be.

4.Additional Safety Considerations
If you have young children in the house, it is best to outfit your home with tamper-resistant electrical receptacles. This will prevent exposing your children to risky outlets. Grounding fault circuit is an important installation and reduces the risk of electrical shocks. These circuit breakers remove any excess electricity and cut off the circuit making the appliance safe.

5.Look for Warning Signs
Risky electrical outlets and appliances give out warning signs. If you observe any of the following, call your electrician immediately. Light switches and plugs can have a tingling feeling upon touch. An appliance may give out a burning smell. An outlet may appear discoloured or it may spark. When your lights flicker or become dim or if a circuit breaker keeps tripping or blows fuse regularly.

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