According to ESFi, there are an estimated 51,000 electrical fires each year, with 500 deaths and 1400 injuries. Property damage is approximately $1.3 Billion. Power distribution (your home or business wiring) is involved in one third of these fires, and 5,300 fires involve a receptacle. Here are a few ideas to help you avoid becoming the next statistic:

1. First and foremost, get an inspection done. Any home you live in, or building that you work in, should be carefully inspected for major issues before you inhabit it. Even if you have been there a while, take the time now to have things checked. Overloaded circuits, undersized main feeders, old panel boxes, improperly installed electrical devices, or dangerous tie-ins to old wiring may have been missed or even misrepresented when you purchased the property. These things may have been fine for years, but could cause an issue with a simple change in usage. For instance, let’s say you owned your home for ten years with no problems. You now find yourself using the spare bedroom as a craft room. Suddenly, a wall outlet smells hot, and when you remove the cord for the sewing machine, the plug is hot enough to burn you. Sparks fly when you remove the plug. You may not have known that the receptacle was tied into the same circuit which feeds the living room, now loaded down with the myriad of devices associated with today’s family entertainment. Just the addition of one more thing has overloaded this circuit, and the old wiring and loose screw on the receptacle added to the issue. We can find issues like this and get them remedied.

2. Limit the use of extension cords. These power extenders are not magically producing more power, and just because you have a place to plug something in does not mean that the circuit can handle it. If you find yourself reaching for cords often, call us to add circuits or outlets to your home. This is a much safer solution.

3. Be aware of signs that you are overloading your circuits. Along with the use of extension cords, there are several other signs that you may need to adjust your usage, or have more installed. If you are tripping breakers so often that you have the power panel memorized, it is time to get the situation remedied. Overloaded circuits are hard on appliances, and are a real fire risk.

4. Use space heaters wisely. Be sure the circuit powering them is capable and not overloaded. Keep a safety perimeter around the heater. If possible, use an infrared heater, which does not get hot, has no burn hazard, and will shut off immediately if tipped. Be sure to turn off the heaters before leaving the house or going to bed. (The exception to this may be the infrared, which are designed to put off a lower heat in a consistent manner to keep the area warm. These heaters do best at maintaining the warmth when left on. The safety features which are built in do make them safe for this type of constant operation.)

5. Replace older appliances with newer, more efficient (and trustworthy) versions. Over time, breakdown of electrical wiring and components raise the risk factor for older appliances. Replace as you can work them into the budget for peace of mind and a lower power bill.

6. LED bulbs reduce fire risk by lowering the load on circuits. They also don’t produce heat, so if a lamp is knocked over, the risk of a resultant fire is much less than with a standard bulb which can ignite a mattress, clothing, paneling, or flooring.

We are here to help you get your house in order. Whether you have issues that you are aware of, or you would like to know what may be lurking in the background, we can assist. Just give us a call. Our skilled electricians will find and eliminate any issues with competence and professionalism.

If you are in need of any residential or commercial electrical services or LED lighting in Baldwin County or Mobile, Alabama look no further than Professional Electric! Visit us online at www.ProfessionalElectric.biz and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! We are available 24/7 for emergency services! Mobile: (251) 473-5788 Baldwin County: (251) 929-8957 Remember, when it comes to your electrical needs, Keep It Professional!

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