4. Unplug Small Devices and Appliances When Not in Use
According to some studies, the average family has at least 50 electrical devices or appliances plugged in at any one time. Of course, very few people unplug their entertainment systems when they leave the house, nor does it make sense to ever unplug the refrigerator. However, we do urge you to unplug things like the toaster and other small kitchen appliances before you leave each day. And never leave a space heater plugged in when you’re not there! Those are notorious for electrical fires! Same goes for electric, heated blankets. Try to get into the unplugging habit now, because those kitchen appliances cause a lot of fires when left plugged in and unattended. Unplug small appliances you use in the bathroom too. Also, you can actually save money on electricity by fully unplugging computers, printers and entertainment systems from the wall when you’re not at home because even in the “off” position, those things till suck power from the system and add up on your electrical bill.
5. Retire Older Appliances
We know, you like to squeeze every last moment of use out of any appliance you have, because they can be expensive! But these older, malfunctioning appliances can be some of the worst electrical-fire starters! So, if any of your appliances show the following signs of wear, dispose of them safely and get a newer, safer model ASAP:
Frayed electrical cords
Using it causes lights to flicker in the room, or to turn them off (we’re looking at you, old microwaves…)
Sparks when turning on
Excessive heat coming from the device
These are signs of an electrical fire disaster just waiting to happen, so don’t ignore them!
6. Limit the Use of Space Heaters
One of the leading causes of electrical fires is prolonged use of electric space heaters. We recommend that people limit the use of space heaters by only using them when the room is occupied. We also recommend running them at 1/2 power instead of full power. A space heater at 1/2 power will keep a room just as warm as full power, but without the risk of damage to the outlets or overloading the circuit.
7. Schedule a Regular Electrical Safety Inspection
In addition to these 5 things that you can go around your house and do right now (make it a family activity so everyone knows these safety tips), schedule a regular electrical safety and electrical building code inspection with your Northern Virginia electricians. If you have any concerns or questions, we can help you decide how to solve problems listed above, and we can also check your electrical panel, wiring and other areas that would not be safe for you to check on your own. Electrical safety inspections provide great peace of mind for you and your family, and add a little extra incentive to buyers if you’re trying to sell your home as well.
The Root Electric Team is obsessive about safety for our clients! If you have any concerns about the electricity in your home, please contact us immediately and we can help you! (703) 494-3989.