To help protect your home and loved ones, here are a few tips to help manage the potential risk of appliance, and other electrical fires in your home.

  1. Register your appliances and check for recalls using Home Recall Alert!
    Consumer Report’s has collected years of data from the CPSC and has concluded that more than 15 million appliance units have been recalled in the past five years for defects that could cause a fire. In addition, there were more than 69,000 fires in which an appliance was the primary cause. By using our Recall Alert system, we will help you monitor the status of all your appliances – lowering the risk of fire and other damage to your home.
  2. Install quality smoke alarms and detection devices
    In over 50% of fire related injuries in the home, working smoke alarms are not present. By simply monitoring the function of your current smoke alarms, or installing new ones, you can help mitigate the potential for serious fire damage by detecting a fire early on. Newer systems can even notify you, or the fire department, when you are away from the house. You’ll need a detector for every bedroom, each floor of the house, finished basements and finished attics. Consider CO alarms if your home has a fuel-burning appliance such as a water heater, range, cooktop or furnace. Before you shop, check regulations in your region. What you need may vary, including types of alarms and their placement. Also, some insurance companies offer a discount for homes with smoke alarms.
  3. Practice kitchen safety
    With all the friends and relatives coming to town for the holidays, it is so easy to lose track of time and leave the kitchen unattended. Simply staying mindful and remembering to turn off small appliances when they are not in use can pay huge dividends when it comes to protecting your home from fire.
  4. Use extension cords wisely
    For outdoor items, use only exterior rated cords. For information about the cord’s rated use, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Every cord is rated for the wattage of the device, so pick ones that can handle your needs. Make sure to use cords with three pronged plugs: those are grounded. Never remove a cords grounding pin to fit it into a two-prong outlet.
    A few other important things to keep in mind when using cords:
    • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or furniture
    • Don’t use damaged cords
    • Don’t bend or coil cords when using them
    • Don’t string multiple cords together to make them longer
    Remember that extension cords are designed for temporary use and not as permanent wiring. If a cord gets hot do not use it and replace it. Unplug all extension cords when not in use.
  5. Dryer Maintenance is Important!
    While dryer sheets have been reported as leading to fires in the laundry area, it is far more common for improperly dryer venting to be the cause of a fire. Another dubious, and more common fire source is dryer lint. It is vital to stay on top of clearing lint away from the dryer including under it, and behind it. There are also vent hose cleaning kits available from hardware stores to assist you in cleaning this hard to reach area as well. Treat lint as highly flammable material and be sure to keep your dryer well maintained.

While some of these things may seem like common sense, the data is clear that we often don’t keep some of these things top of mind. We hope this little reminder helps put some of the simple things we can do to protect our investments and our families right back into focus.

Source: Home Owners Network