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You may not think of electricity as a hazard, but it can be deadly when not handled properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2012, there were reports of nearly 47,000 fires in the United States that were due to electrical problems. These fires resulted in over 480 deaths and over $1.5 billion in property damage. So how can you stay safe around electricity? Here are five tips to keep in mind. Safety is always a top priority when it comes to your home, and that includes being aware of potential electrical hazards. Here are five tips to help you avoid dangerous situations:

1.      Be careful when using extension cords.

Electrical hazards are one of the leading causes of home fires. Each year, extension cords are responsible for more than 3,300 home fires, resulting in over 50 deaths and almost $200 million in property damage. While extension cords can be a convenient way to bring power to hard-to-reach places, we need to use them carefully. When using extension cords, always avoid overloading outlets, running cords under carpets or rugs, or placing them where foot traffic can damage them. In addition, make sure that cords are properly rated for the appliances they will be powering. Failure to follow these simple safety tips can lead to tragic consequences.

2.      Keep outlets clear and use only the necessary number of plugs.

Another way to help stop these fires is to keep plugs and outlets clear and only use as many as you need. Electrical cords shouldn’t be too heavy, and you shouldn’t plug things into broken outlets. If you’re not using an outlet, it’s best to put a child-proof outlet cover over it. Also, you should unplug any electrical appliances that you are not using.

3.      Don’t place objects on top of outlet covers.

It can be tempting to put things like air fresheners, VitaMins, or your child’s favorite toy on the outlet covers. But this is a very dangerous fire hazard. If something falls and blocks the outlet, it could cause dangerous heat to build up and start a fire. Keep your outlets clean and free of anything that could block them to help keep your home from catching on fire.

4.      If an appliance smells strange or sparks, turn it off and unplug it immediately.

To keep electrical hazards from happening, it’s important to know what to look for. Immediately turn off and unplug any appliance that smells funny or sparks. If the problem keeps happening, call an electrician to come look at it. You can keep your home safe from harm if you keep an eye out for electrical hazards.

5.      Get your electrical system inspected by a professional at least once a year.

Every homeowner needs to take care of their electrical systems. There may be many electrical risks in your home that you don’t know about. Electrical dangers can start fires, give people electric shocks, and cause serious injuries. Have a professional check your electrical system at least once a year to help avoid these risks. A professional will look for signs of wear and tear, loose connections, bad wiring, and other problems that could happen. You can help keep your home safe from electrical hazards by having your electrical system checked regularly.

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