This article is from the October issue of the Kansas Country Living magazine.
Electricity usually makes life easier by powering kitchen appliances, gadgets, and electronics we use for entertainment. However, that same electricity contains the potential to destroy homes and take lives. Electric fires are more destructive than any other type of fire, and they are twice as deadly. Safe Electricity has the following information to help you keep your electric system safe.
•Consider getting an electric inspection of your home, especially if it is an older home, or you have never had an inspection.
•If an electrical fire starts in your home, do not use water to extinguish it. Water conducts electricity, and you could get an electric shock. Use an extinguisher that is approved for use on electrical fires.
•Flickering lights, warm, cracked, or sparking outlets all indicate electric problems.
•If circuits trip, fuses blow or someone gets a shock, your home has an electric problem. Get an electric inspection.
•Do not overload outlets, use an extension cord as a permanent wiring solution, or use lightbulbs that are not rated for the socket.
•Contact an electrician about installing an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). An AFCI monitors the flow of electricity in your home. If the flow of electricity is irregular and could cause a fire, the AFCI shuts off electricity. An AFCI costs around $35, plus the cost of professional installation. The cost also depends on the size of your home and how many circuit breakers you have.
•Inspect electric plugs and cords annually. If they are frayed or cracked, repair or replace them. Do not place cords under rugs, or staple or nail them to the wall.