Only you can prevent forest fires, but we can all prevent house fires.

Hey, Students of Safety!

Today is National Fire Prevention Day and the rest of the week is dedicated to bringing awareness of effective tips for preventing uncontrolled fires. Last year, I posted tips about the proper way to start (and put out) an outdoor fire. The year before that, I shared tips to avoid uncontrolled indoor fires. There’s an important piece, however, that should be stressed from the latter post—

Outlet and electrical appliance safety!

Electrical fires are within the top five causes of house fires. And having recently said goodbye to the summer season, we’re all about to spend a lot more time indoors which inevitably means plugging even more things in on a regular basis. A great way to observe National Fire Prevention Day is to scope out your home in search of electrical connections that violate the following rules:
Frayed or otherwise damaged cords aren't worth using.
Don’t Use Electrical Cords in Poor Condition
The exterior of a cord is known as the jacket. If you happen to spot any cords with frayed jackets, these cords are at risk of using exposed wires which is never a safe practice. Older appliances are notorious for having loose or otherwise unsafe cords so pay special attention to older appliances like vintage lamps, radios, or old television sets.

Don’t Overload Outlets  Don't plug in more than your outlet can handle.
You certainly don’t want to draw too much electricity all to the same spot. A full surge protector can be too much for one outlet to handle. Try spreading out the source of power for so many different plugs.

Be Safe Using Extension Cords
Extension cords are handy, but they can also be a fire hazard when not used properly. Extension cords should never be ran under rugs or heavy furniture. You suse extension cords with caution!hould also be careful not to overuse an extension cord. They easily deteriorate when overstressed which can lead to an unhappy electrical shock to you. Extension cords are not permanent solutions to your power needs.

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Ensure your safety and check your house to make sure you’re following these rules. For further safety, you can check to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and discuss an emergency exit plan with your family. Have a safe day today, and as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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