News & Features Home

Take steps to prevent electrical fires at home

Take steps to prevent electrical fires at home

RICHMOND—Flipping a light switch or plugging in a device is second nature to most people, but it is important to keep electrical safety in mind—both inside and outside the home.

“It’s important to follow all safety guidelines with products and to seek out a certified electrician for any and all electrical repairs,” said Jimmy Maass, safety manager for Virginia Farm Bureau.

Before purchasing an electrical item, make sure it is certified by the Underwriter’s Laboratory, indicated by a “UL” on the packaging.

Never use power strips outside and do not plug one power strip into another. “Major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet,” Maass said.

Do not use any extension cords or appliance outside unless it is rated for outdoor use, and remember that extension cords are for temporary use only. Consider having additional circuits or receptacles added by an electrician to avoid using extension cords. Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.

Place all lamps on a level surface, and use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the fixtures.

If outlets or switches feel warm or there are frequent problems with blown fuses or tripped circuits or with flickering or dimming lights, call an electrician.

Use ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, to reduce the risk of shock in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and basements. All outdoor receptacles should be GFCI-protected and have outdoor outlet covers.

Contact Maass at 804-290-1379.