Safety Information

Electrical Systems

Most of us are unaware of how dangerous electricity can truly be within our homes.

It is important for homeowners to understand the severity of an electrical wiring fire, as it often begins behind a wall, in a basement or in the attic where the fire can spread throughout the home before setting off the smoke alarm or becoming evident to occupants. This reduces the amount of time available to escape a burning building.

Below are additional safety tips to help homeowners create the safest home possible:

  • Make sure smoke alarms are installed on every floor outside sleeping areas and in every bedroom, and are in good working order.
  • Look for telltale signs of electrical problems such as dimming of lights, frequent circuit breaker trips or blown fuses.
  • Ask a qualified electrician if your home would benefit from AFCI protection, especially during inspections of older homes or upgrades to electrical systems.
  • Limit the use of extension cords, particularly cords used to power room air conditioners.
  • Use light bulbs that are the proper wattage for the fixture – higher wattage bulbs can degrade the wires in and around the fixture

Candles

Candles are no longer used for the occasional dinner party. In fact, only a small percent of candle fires start in dining rooms. Candle sales are booming and families are lighting candles in their living rooms, family rooms, dens and bathrooms. Fires from candles have increased dramatically, but they are preventable. Reduce the chance of a fire, by following these simple safety tips.

  • Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Keep combustible materials away from candles.
  • Don’t put candles in a location where children or pets could knock them down.
  • Use only non-flammable candle holders.
  • Always trim the wicks before lighting.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Detectors

Consumers need to remain vigilant against carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. CPSC recommends three simple tips to protect your life, your loved ones, and your home:

  • Make sure your home is protected with both smoke and CO alarms. Combination smoke/CO alarms are available in the marketplace.
  • Test alarms monthly to make sure they are working.
  • Once a year, change batteries when you change your clocks.

For more Safety Tips visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov

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