22497545_sDuring the month of February, many families are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a variety of events. Things like going out to dinner, having people over for a small party, and helping the kids fill out their Valentine cards for school are all favorite activities in February.

In the electrical community, we have another day that we celebrate during the month of February – and, we encourage you to join in the celebration as well!

February is National Electrical Safety Month, and is intended to bring awareness to homeowners across the Country about the dangers of electrical fires in their homes.

Each year thousands of families are devastated by the effects of house fires. The lucky ones only lose their possessions but, make it out of the house safely or are not home at all. Others are not so lucky.

The number one cause of house fires is electrical. Most house fires can be traced back to something that has to do with the wiring, or an appliance that shorted, or some other type of electricity caused disaster. To bring awareness to this issue, and to educate people on how to safely use electricity in their homes, the National Fire Protection Association makes the following safety recommendations:

  • Make sure that all electrical work done at your house is done by a qualified electrician. Home improvement projects that involve electricity should never be done by yourself, unless you are a qualified electrician.
  • In the kitchen, only plug one heat producing appliance into an outlet at a time. For instance, do not have the coffee maker and the toaster plugged in and running at the same time.
  • NEVER plug large appliances into extension cords. For instance, refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners should only be plugged wall outlets.
  • Make sure to only use light bulbs in your lamps and household lighting that match the proper wattage for that light fixture.
  • Always use electrical appliances in the way the manufacturer intended them to be used. Do not use a toaster to cook a hot dog, etc.

If you have frequent problems with fuses blowing or a wall that always feels warm, make sure to contact an electrical (or your landlord) right away. Prevention is the best safety measure.

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