It is a fact that the rate of residential fires that are caused by electrical issues usually go up during the winter season. There are several reasons why this is so, but the most common would be the following.
Unsafe Use of Electric Heaters
Majority, if not all, of households use electric heaters during the December and January, which drives up the power consumption of every home. Electric heaters, when properly installed by electricians, and used accordingly by homeowners, are generally safe. However, if you are using a portable space heater, then that’s where the problem comes in. Some people tend to plug these heaters into ordinary power outlets which is not safe because they require more power to generate heat, and ordinary outlets are not able to handle such power requirement, thus causing electrical failures.
Unsafe Use of Extension Cords
Because of the need for extra outlets to plug Christmas lights and other decorations, we sometimes resort to extension cords. However, most of us tend to use them improperly, usually by plugging in too many plugs, lights, gadgets, and even appliances all at the same time. This practice usually results to electrical overload, and is one of the leading causes of residential fires this time of the year.
Preventing Residential Fires
Preventing residential fires caused by electrical problems is pretty easy. As can be seen in the earlier paragraphs, these types of fires are usually caused by our unsafe practices with regards to the use of heating systems and extensions cords. Thus, when using plug-in heaters, be sure to read the manual thoroughly, learning about the power requirement of the said appliance and adhering to it. Also, it is best to buy only heaters which are manufactured by reputable companies. The same is true when buying Christmas lights and other electronic Christmas décor.
With regards to extension cords, minimize the number of items that you plug into them. As much as possible, limit it to only one item, that is, if you need extension cords for Christmas lights on the tree, then avoid plugging any other item into it. Place extension cords in areas where you can easily see them so you can watch out for sparks. However, place them in a safe corner, away from kids, pets, and things that easily catch fire like curtains or the Christmas tree.
By properly and safely using our heating systems and extension cords, we can greatly minimize the dangers of an electrical fire, and ensure ourselves of a fun and safe holidays.