Electricity is a major part of our everyday lives, and I know that you don’t really need me to remind you of this. But, since I am in the business, I’m just here to talk about you home and how to observe basic safety tips around your home.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), there is an average of 51,000 home structural fires occurring every year in the US. These cause over 1.3 billion dollars in property damage, injure many and kill over 500 people. And, according to the reports by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 400 people are also electrocuted every year. And most of these can be prevented by observing basic safety rules. For example, faulty electrical distribution systems are the third cause of home structure fires in our nation. So, a good way to prevent those is to have them inspected by licensed electrical contractors. Another unpleasant statistic is that 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke detectors. Let me ask how many of you have taken out that annoying detector with a dying battery and simply forgot to replace it? It happens, I know, but it’s imperative to have them all in working order and to test them monthly to make sure they do. Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on all of your electrical devices. Look out for specific signs that something is malfunctioning: dimming/flickering lights, weird sizzling sounds, buzzing sounds from your electrical system or insulation and breakers that trip often. Extension cords are meant to be used temporarily and never with space heaters or air conditioners. Another common mistake is that people overload their outlets by plugging in too many devices. If you find that you need more, talk to your contractor about adding some. If you want to find more information, you can always go to http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.
As always, thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com