Electrical fire safety: keep an eye on extension cords and wall outlets

Overloaded electrical outlet

Did you know that over half of all home electrical fires involve lighting equipment or home electrical wiring? Overloaded outlets and the misuse of extension cords are common electrical issues that can cause a home fire. Fortunately, there are some basic steps to take to prevent such fires.

Safety tips:

  • Use as few cord adapters and extension cords as possible. Instead use a power strip that has a surge protector.
  • Extension cords should only used for temporary use. They should not be tacked to walls or run under rugs.
  • Small appliances, like the toaster should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Check your electrical cords. If they are cracked or damaged, replace them. Don’t try to repair them.
  • Don’t overload extension cords or wall outlets.
  • Never use extension cords with appliances. Plug them directly into wall outlets.

Call a qualified electrician or the landlord if you experience any of the following:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet
Check your electrical cords. If they are cracked or damaged, replace them. Don’t try to repair them.