A study by the nation’s independent insurance agents found that more than 18 million American homeowners never check for electrical hazards. That is one out of every four. Electrical home fires result in 900 deaths a year and over $1.7 billion in property damage.


  1. Check for loose-fitting plugs that can overheat.
  2. Put safety covers on all unused outlets accessible to small children.
  3. Walk around the house and touch all outlet plates. If any of them are hot to the touch or discolored, there may be a dangerous heat buildup at the connections.
  4. Never remove the third prong, the ground pin, to make it fit into a two-conductor outlet. This could lead to an electrical shock.
  5. Use the proper sized light bulb that is recommended for a fixture or lamp.
  6. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely because loose bulbs may overheat.
  7. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis-improper use is a major reason for home fires.
  8. Check appliance and lamp cords for signs of wear, frayed wiring or other defects.

Courtesy of Bel-Red Electrical’s newsletter.

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