Extension Cord Fire Safety

When the cord for your lamp isn’t long enough to reach the accent table that it looks so pretty on, it’s time to find the good ol’ extension cord to really bring the room together. Extension cords are a great way to increase the reach of electricity in your home without needing to call an electrician. However, with each extension cord we use, we bring dangers into our home that could result in a fire or other type of catastrophic event in the home.

When using extension cords, you need to make sure you are using them safely and correctly. To avoid any dangers associated with an extension cord, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind when plugging in.

Do not overuse a cord. If an extension cord has three plugs, do not plug in more than 3 different appliances. Too many things plugged in can result in overheating and a fire or explosion of sorts. Do not use an extension cord for more than one power-hungry appliance at a time.

Be cautious of where you place your extension cord. Do not allow your extension cord to run through water, snow, or any other water. Make sure it does not run through walls, doorways, ceilings, windows or floors. Make sure it is not fully covered so heat is able to escape as necessary.

Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring. If you rely too heavily on extension cords, call an electrician to come install more outlets, which will be safer than overusing cords. Do not chain extension cords together as this can result in too much current going through a single cord at a time.

Never use a damaged cord. If a cord feels too hot, looks damaged, or you have any concerns about its safety, unplug. Replacing a cord is much cheaper than having to deal with a fire caused by a damaged cord.

Use the right amount of prongs. If an outlet has two prongs, do not try to use a three-prong cord. Forcing an outlet into a plug it does not fit in will likely result in a dangerous electrical shock or outage.

Buy high quality cords. Electricity is one place where you never want to skimp on quality. Look for cords that have been approve by an independent testing laboratory and have received a high rating. The better quality cord, the safer it will be in your home.

It is important to exercise caution when using electronics. From a small spark to a large electrical fire, there is never a limit to what you can do to keep your home safe.

For more on keeping your home safe, contact us at Crossfire Alarms.

Dealing with a Drought

The state of California is currently in the middle of one of the most severe droughts on record. Over the past three years, the state has been forced to make huge changes in lifestyle in order to compensate for the lack of rain, resulting in multiple lakes being completely dried up. Droughts are common and can happen to any region at any time. It is important to know how to avoid fires in these dire situations, since water becomes a precious commodity.

With dry conditions comes the increased risk of a fire. Often, local government will enforce strict water restrictions that ban people from over-watering their lawns, or using too much water in general. These steps are good to help preserve precious water, but also mean that there is an increased risk of fire for people in the area.

The most important step to take towards fire safety during a drought is to avoid creating a fire of any kind. Do not burn any trash, debris, leaves or other materials outdoors, and exercise extreme caution when grilling. If there is a lot of leaves, dry brush or other materials around your home, try to move them as far away as possible to create a “safe zone” around your house.

If you store firewood at your home, make sure it is put away safely. Keep it at least 15 feet from your home and preferably somewhere uphill. Maintain your lawn and land around the home by eliminating any dry or flammable materials. Regular raking and leaf-removal can make a huge impact on your safety. If you do plant new plants, look for fire-resistant species that will be less likely to cause a blaze.

Avoid parking vehicles on grass, as the oils and heat can cause the dry grass to catch fire. If you have flammable materials such as gas, oil or paints, make sure they are stored in a cool place at least 30 feet from your home.

Make sure you educate your children on what a drought means and how it affects them. Teach them fire safety and how to keep themselves and others safe when at a higher risk for fire.

Droughts are a dangerous time for many reasons, and fires are one of the many things that can result from the hot, dry air. Do what you can to prevent a fire and keep your home safe, and you can help make it easier for your community to survive a drought.

For more on keeping your home safe, contact us at Crossfire Alarms.