Reduce fire risk by practicing electrical safety in your home | State Fire Marshal

  • Thursday, November 17, 2016 4:49pm
  • Opinion

The following is from the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office:

With colder weather coming on, you may be thinking about digging out that electric blanket or space heater, but you may want to consider a few safety precautions first.

“Don’t take shortcuts with your safety,” says State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy. “Fires caused by electricity are a leading cause of home fire deaths in Washington State and account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in property loss, year after year.”

The risk of having a home electrical fire is greater when energy consumption is increased in the home. Practicing electrical safety in your home could mean the difference between life and death. The U.S. Fire Administration suggests the following safety tips to help ensure that you and your family are safe from shock hazards and electrical fires.

Appliances

  • Always plug major appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet.
  • Never use an extension cord with a major appliance — it can easily overheat and start a fire.
  • Always plug small appliances directly into a wall outlet.
  • Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
  • Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged and loose electrical cords. Do not try to repair them.

Outlets

  • Do not overload wall outlets.
  • Insert plugs fully into sockets.
  • Never force a three-prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
  • Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children.

Extension Cords, Power Strips and Surge Protectors

  • Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away.
  • Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
  • Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.
  • Do not overload power strips.
  • Use power strips that have internal overload protection.

Safety in the Home

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom, sleeping area, and on every level of your home.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  • Have an ABC rated fire extinguisher in an accessible location.

More in Opinion

Falcone is the smart choice | Letter

In the race for Kirkland City Council Pos. 6, Amy Falcone is… Continue reading

Falcone is the right choice | Letter

We are writing to recommend Amy Falcone for Kirkland City Council. As… Continue reading

Professionals in a second language | Windows and Mirrors

What is it like to pursue a career in a language that is not your first?

Diverse programs serve diverse communities

Waste Management’s outreach programs make waste reduction and recycling accessible to everyone.

Breaking barriers | Windows and Mirrors

Spending time in the outdoors has helped veteran Naomi Layco heal physically and mentally after serving in the U.S. Navy.

KCLS explores the artificial intelligence frontier

The library system will look at the feasibility of an AI application for library users.

Encouraging innovation | Letter

Earlier this year, I had a kidney transplant and it changed my… Continue reading

My Jewish new year’s resolution | Guest editorial

Rosh Hashanah is not just the first day of the new year. It’s a day for Jews to renew their commitment to God.

Give up now! | Letter

I believe that our forefathers didn’t pass the Second Amendment to our… Continue reading

Where have the ospreys gone? | Letter

For years I have watched a pair of ospreys raise chicks in… Continue reading

That entangled meme | Letter

Thanks to Sherman Peters (Reporter, Sept. 6) readers were fed glib history.… Continue reading

How recycling moved me from the Sunshine State to the Evergreen State | Guest editorial

Even with a background in the waste industry, Morgan Romero realized during her internship that there is always more to learn.