We frequently educate home buyers about fire safety, as it relates to a home's electrical system and other areas of the home. Fire is the ultimate risk when determining what to do about two-prong outlets and a Federal Pacific Electric Panel, two topics we recently posted about in this blog. To raise awareness about the risks of home fires during winter weather, when we spend most of our time indoors, we want to highlight National Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 7-13, 2021) and share important burn prevention tips to prevent burn-related injuries and reduce the risk of home fires this winter.
NFPA Fire Loss in US Reports Fire/Smoke Inhalation Deaths: 3,275
This total includes 2,745 deaths from residential fires, 310 from vehicle crash fires, and 220 from other sources. One civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 41 minutes. The odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames or smoke is 1 in 1442. Fire and inhalation deaths are combined because deaths from thermal burns in fires cannot always be distinguished from deaths from inhalation of toxins in smoke.
This year the American Burn Association focuses on electrical safety, a common risk of injury that exists from unprotected electrical outlets, improperly used extension cords, lightning, and workplace electrical injuries.
Household Appliances Could Become a Fire Hazard
Plug major appliances directly into a wall outlet. Do NOT use extension cords or power strips. Only one heat-producing appliance should be plugged into an outlet.
Electrical Cords can Cause Fires
Always check cords before use for cracks or frayed sockets, loose or bare wire, and loose connections. Also, extension cords should be rated for their intended use - meaning do not use an indoor extension cord for Christmas lights outside. In addition, never pull something out of the electrical outlet by yanking on the cord - always use the base. Never have a plugged-in electrical cord or extension cord traveling underneath a rugs, blankets or anything flammable.
House Fires Can be Caused by Overloading the Power Source
A Y-Adapter splits the power from a single outlet into two. When using one, be sure electronic's amperage does not exceed power source. Unusually warm switches or outlets may indicate unsafe wiring. Stop using the switches and call an electrician. Circuit breakers that are frequently tripped are a sign that the circuit can't handle the demand for power. Move appliances to other circuits or have an electrician check your household electrical system.
Using a two-prong to three-prong adapter is not safe. Find out why and what to do instead.
Learn how to identify a Federal Pacific Electrical panel and understand the associated dangers.
If you're a seller give your prospective buyers the confidence to waive the inspection contingency with a pre-listing home inspection.