Electrical Safety at home- know where the dangers are
April 28 2016, 11:45 AM
We all want to make sure we do everything in our control to prevent accidents and reduce the risk of injury to ourselves and our families. Reminding ourselves of the little things is one way we can help reduce the risk of electrical fires in our homes. NB Power spoke to the Fredericton Fire Department Deputy Chief David McKinley to gain some insight into common causes of house fires and the little things people can do to avoid them.
Let’s start with the basics.
Check your smoke detectors. Be sure to have one on every level of your house and change the batteries every six months. If you burn wood or have propane or natural gas for a heat source, make sure you have a Carbon Monoxide detectors installed with digital display.
Another way to help reduce preventable accidents is to buy appliances that are approved by the Canadian Standards Association. That way, you know you’re buying a product certified to applicable standards.
Just want to get the laundry finished and out of the way? Many house fires start with overloaded washers and dryers. Overloading either appliance will burn out the motor or cause an equipment failure. Keep the lint trap clean on your dryer and never operate the washer or dryer when you are leaving home.
Be careful not to plug too many devices into one outlet. It could result in heat building up in the wires, which could lead to a fire. Pay attention to any discoloration around the plug-ins (receptacle) on the wall. This could also be noticeable if there is a burning smell coming from appliances. This is an indicator there is a problem with the wiring. You should have this checked by a certified electrician immediately.
Drapes and furniture should not be near portable heaters, or irons or other appliances that heat up as they could ignite and cause a fire.
Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher in an accessible location and know how to use it. (Remember PASS: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep back and forth at the base of the fire)
The National Fire Code requires that we make repairs or replace any broken outlet plates or frayed cords that expose wiring. It’s also important not to use extension cords as a permanent wiring solution. These are temporary solutions only and should never be covered up under a rug. Foot traffic will ruin the cords and could potentially cause a fire.
Outside, a reminder is to stay clear of power lines when working or playing nearby.
Look up and check for overhead wires before using a ladder or trimming trees or bushes on your property.
Look down. Buried power lines and natural gas lines can be at various depths. Make sure underground wires are marked before doing any digging. Call us: 1 800 663 6272.
If ever you see a downed power line call 911 and stay at least one pole length away. Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Even if a power line is down it could still be energized.
What do you do in your home to keep your family safe from electrical accidents and fires? Share your tips with us in the comments section below!