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Five Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

Posted by: Joe Schwartz

Published: December 21, 2023

Home fires are a far too common occurrence across the United States, and with the correct preparation and education many of them could be prevented. With the increased usage of electric fireplaces, space heaters, and Christmas lights in the winter, electrical fires pose an even higher risk. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your family safe.

1. Don’t crowd your outlets

The circuits in an outlet were designed to hold a specific amount of electrical current, and using too many power strips or extension cords can create overheating. This is a frequent reason for electrical fires, and is easily preventable. Unplug cords when they’re not in use, and don’t make extension cords permanent fixtures in your setup.

2. Don’t place flammable items directly in front of or close to outlets

This is an obvious but easily forgotten precaution–especially when decorating for Christmas. Avoid placing your tree, presents, or decorations close to an outlet. Outlets normally produce an unnoticeable amount of heat, but if they’re faulty or overloaded they could overheat and start a fire on whatever is closest to them. Christmas trees in particular pose an even greater risk of flammability when they start to dry out.

3. Unplug small appliances and devices

Make a habit of unplugging small kitchen appliances like a toaster or coffee maker when they’re not in use. The same thing goes for heated blankets or hair tools such as a hair dryer or straightener. Even if they’re turned off, they could still be drawing power from the outlet. And always unplug space heaters before you leave. In fact, try to limit your usage of space heaters all together.

4. Limit space heater usage

Prolonged usage of a space heater is one of the main reasons for electrical fires. Make sure you’re using them only when a room is occupied. You could also run them at half power–this will still warm your room while significantly lowering the risk of overheating your outlets.

5. Invest in a monitored smoke detector system

Although this won’t prevent an electrical fire, it can greatly reduce the damage caused by one. At the first sign of smoke, our 24/7 monitoring center will alert both you and the fire department at the first warning signs of a fire. Doyle Security is dedicated to keeping your home and family safe, even when you’re not around. Click to learn more about our fire alarm systems.

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Related Topics: Home Safety, Fire Safety


Joe Schwartz

Joe is a Marketing Specialist for Doyle Security responsible for online content management.