October is National Fire Safety & Prevention Month. At Kelly Electric, we understand the importance of knowing what causes electrical fires and how to prevent them in the first place. The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are over 1.2 million reported fires in the United States each year. Fires can cause extreme damage, injury, and in some cases death. That is why we are taking the time to spread awareness about fire safety. Here are a few important steps to follow to ensure your safety.
Make Sure Your Home Has Smoke Detectors
One of the most important ways you can protect your home from a fire is to have multiple smoke detectors. There should be a smoke detector on every level of your home near the ceiling. By having multiple smoke detectors, you have ‘round-the-clock protection that will alert you and your family of a fire. About two-thirds of fire-related deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke detectors.
Have an Arc Fault Breaker Installed in Your Home
Do you have an arc fault breaker in your home? If you’re not sure what an arc fault break is, simply put, it’s job is to detect dangerous electrical arcs and interrupt the circuit before it can start a fire. The difference between an arc fault break and a standard circuit breaker is that a circuit break does not always trip to a quick surge. If you do not have an arc fault breaker, especially if you have older wiring, there is a higher likelihood of arc fault fires.
Replace Faulty GFCI Outlets
The purpose of a GFCI outlet is to protect you from an electric shock. A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. In the event of an imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirtieth of a second. However, when a GFCI outlet fails, the device will continue to produce power, but it will no longer protect you. To make sure you are protected, it’s important to stay on top of inspections and get faulty GFCI outlets replaced.
Replace Knob and Tube Wiring
If you have an older home, built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, you may have knob and tube wiring. This type of wiring is considered extremely dangerous mainly because there is no protection if a fault occurs because it has no ground wire. This can lead to shocks and fires, therefore it is important that you replace this type of wiring if it is in your home.
At Kelly Electric, we take fire safety very seriously. We want to make sure that our customers are aware of the dangers of fire, and what they can do to protect themselves. We hope that after reading this that you have gained more knowledge on how to protect your home and family in the event of a fire.