How to Prevent and Stop a Home Fire

January 4, 2007 06:43 AM

Electric Blankets: Never fold or roll these types of blankets-heat will build up on wires, igniting blanket and rest of bed. Unplug and store flat when not in use. Don't leave a heating pad on for more than 30 minutes. Never fall asleep with it on. Set alarm clock to awaken you in 30 minutes if necessary. 

Wires, Plugs and Extension Cords: Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Keep down the number of cords in each outlet. Never run cords under rugs, behind radiators, or across doorways where they may become worn. Make sure you have broken cords, switches making hiccup sounds, and hot plugs professionally repaired. Don't mask problems with electrical tape. Use proper gauge extension cord-especially with power tools and high wattage appliances. 

Fuses and Light Bulbs: Use only the proper sized fuse or the circuit will be overloaded; wiring will overheat, deteriorate, and start a fire. If the bulb is too large, overheating can occur in the cord, shade, socket, wiring, or fixture, resulting in combustibles igniting. 

Portable Space Heaters: Use one thermostat (not just a switch) that shuts off by itself when tipped over. Plug it directly into its own outlet. Use in an area free of combustibles and well-ventilated in order for heat to escape. Never leave on overnight. 

Clothes Dryers: Never leave synthetic fabrics, plastics, rubber, or foam in the dryer for longer than manufacturer's recommended time. Clean the lint screen before and after use. Keep area free of combustibles. Dryers must be vented to outside and plugged into own outlet. 

Personal Grooming Appliances: Hair dryers, curling irons, hot rollers, and makeup mirrors must be away from combustibles while in use. Disconnect after use. Never fold/crimp cords or insulation will be ruined, exposing wires which can short out and spark. 

Vaporizers: Never leave a vaporizer unattended or near combustibles. Make sure to keep an ample amount of water inside. Check to make sure that neither the cord nor the plug is too hot. If either of them is, disconnect the vaporizer immediately. Make sure to plug the vaporizer into its own outlet or a heavy-duty extension cord.

How to fight small Electrical Fires: Switch off the appliance, pull out the plug. Use a Type ABC or Type C extinguisher. Never try to cool with water because water conducts electricity and this can result in you receiving an electric shock.

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