Electrical Fire Safety Tips


If you are still reeling from this week’s episode of This Is Us, you’re not alone.

**SPOILER ALERT** if you are not caught up on this this week’s episode (1/22/18),
do not finish reading this.

There has been such strong response by fans that the Crock Pot brand has setup a twitter account to answer fans concerns and questions and released an official statement addressing safety concerns. I must admit I too had an immediate response to the fire scene, but my concerns were more about our smoke detectors.

As I was wiping away my tears and trying to stop crying in the last 5 minutes of the episode I turn to my husband and say, “do we need to check our smoke detector batteries?”

(Bridge Brigade) You may be wondering…

As we’re watching this awful tragedy unfold in front of us to a character we’ve come to love, many of us probably had the question running through our heads, “when’s the last time I checked the batteries in my smoke detectors?”

When’s the last time you tested your smoke detectors?

The difficult thing about watching this happen last night is that I think we can all relate to forgetting batteries at the store. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the store for one thing, only to buy ten other things and forgot the one item I needed to get in the first place. Perhaps that was the point of the previous episode – to show us that it’s easy to forget things as we get busy.

Unfortunately for Jack, a small lapse in memory lead to catastrophic unintended consequences and ultimately to his demise. With that being said, however, it serves as a great reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and focus on some easy fire prevention tips. Sometimes the small things really do matter…a lot.

10 Easy Electrical Fire Prevention Tips:

1. Test and change the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly:

Don’t wait until they start beeping in the middle of the night. Make it a habit to change the batteries each year as part of the daylight savings time or spring cleaning. Something that will make this an easy task to remember every year.

2. Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years:

Smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years. If you have an older home and you’re not sure how old your smoke detectors are, you should consider just replacing them. There are hard wired detectors that work together or combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

3. Replace Old Heating Appliances:

If you have an appliance that produces heat and it is shorting out or has a funky switch you should definitely replace it. These items can overheat and short out (especially if it has a cloth cord!).

4. Remove items from your home with a cloth wire cord:

If you have an old lamp or appliance that has a cloth covered cord, you need to replace this item. These appliances may not meet modern safety standards and can overheat.

5. Check for discoloration around outlets:

If you notice any discoloration around your outlets you need to call a licensed electrician to come and evaluate the source of the problem. You shouldn’t use any outlets that have discoloration until you’ve had a professional give you the ok to use it.

6. Check for loose outlets:

If you notice that when you plug in something and it’s loose fitting, you need to have an experienced electrician evaluate the problem and possibly replace the outlet.

7. Don’t use outlets or light switches that are hot or warm to the touch:

If you notice that an outlet or light switch is hot to the touch or warm you need to call a professional to evaluate. Your outlets should not give off any heat. If it is warm or hot, something is wrong. Either the circuit is overloaded or you may have a loose connection and heat is escaping and radiating. You should call an electrician to evaluate further.

8. Check for frayed or worn out cords:

You should never plug in a cord that is frayed or worn out. A frayed wire can send heat to combustible surfaces around it and cause a fire. Replace cords and appliances if the cords are frayed.

9. Don’t force fit plugs into a 2 prong outlet or vice versa:

A 3-prong plug can only be plugged into an outlet that has 3 prongs. Don’t ever try to remove the prong. It is needed because it requires more electricity than a 2-prong plug. It can start a fire if you force it into an outlet that can’t handle the additional load.

10. Outdated wiring:

Many of us watching, This Is Us, anticipated that the faulty wiring was the cause of the fire in the Pearson home. While this didn’t end up being the case, we know old, faulty wiring can cause an electrical fire. You should have your home’s wiring and breaker box evaluated by a licensed electrician if your home is over 20 years old. Older homes cannot handle the electrical load of all our smart TVs and electronic devices. Your electrical panel can safely be updated by a licensed electrician.

These are just a few of our top electrical fire safety tips from our electricians. If you’re concerned about any of these issues we described above, please call a professional for assistance. TLC offers electrical service and inspections as a part of our preventive maintenance program. There are other common causes of fires you may want to review at this time.

We hope these tips are a good helpful reminder of things you should think about!