Forest Park, IL (PRWEB) October 14, 2013
Every year in the U.S., there are nearly 44,000 home electrical fires, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. The property loss and damage from these fires is over $1.5 billion dollars each year. With October being recognized as National Fire Prevention Month and the holidays around the corner, now is the time to take extra precautions to avoid an electrical fire this season.
Forest Agency, an independent Illinois-based insurance agency, has put together a list of safety tips for homeowners to go over. The agency believes that understanding what causes electrical fires and how to prevent them is the foundation to a safe season for all.
Extension Cords & Major Appliances
Extension cords and electrical cords that run under carpeting are especially dangerous. These can overheat, cause a spark and ignite the rug or carpeting. Entire homes have been lost because of extension cord fires. Individuals may use these when decorating for the holidays, from lit jack-o-lanterns to holiday trees. To play it safe, ensure that extension cords are at least 16 AWG or "American Wire Gauge," which is a standardized wire gauge measurement system. The only exception to the 16 AWG measurement is an 18 AWG extension cord with fuse protection.
Signs of Danger
Warm outlets, cracked outlet covers, warm switches, buzzing noises and flickering or dimming lights should be checked by a certified electrician. An electrical appliance, such as a toaster or coffee maker that gives a slight shock when touched should be unplugged and the outlet should be inspected by an electrician. Never plug a three-pronged plug into an extension cord. These should always be plugged directly into a wall plug outlet.
Check Up Regularly
A home should be regularly surveyed for electrical fire hazards and electrical safety. Major appliances and holiday decorations should be plugged directly into wall sockets to avoid overloading and heating up. Tripping circuit breakers are an indication of an extreme safety hazard. An electrician should be hired to find the overloaded wires causing the breakers to trip. All wiring should be replaced every 30 to 40 years and all aluminum wiring should be replaced. Make sure that each electrical product used is UL-listed.
Having a firm grasp on the above information may be the key to a safe and sound season. Homeowners and individuals who are interested in learning more should visit the official National Fire Protection Association website.
Forest Agency is committed to keeping its community and clientele “in the know” when it comes to safety. Serving over 3,000 clients, the agency is proud to protect Illinois locals and provide financial security with its insurance solutions. To discuss homeowners insurance in further detail, please do not hesitate to reach out to Forest Agency by dialing 888-635-6651. Its agents are ready to help residents tailor a policy that brings peace of mind this holiday season.
About Forest Agency, Inc.:
Starting as a one-person operation in 1957, Forest Agency has grown into a family of over 3,000 clients over the years. In Illinois, residents and business owners alike can get customized insurance solutions for personal and business lines, as well as specialized services in Aviation. When it comes to the needs of their customers, Forest Agency goes above and beyond – providing more choices, integrity and a personal advocate for all of their customers.