Electrical Fire Safety-NFPA
An appliance plugged into a receptacle equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter can reduce the risk of shock if the circuit represents a shock hazard.
Fuses and circuit breakers:
*If a fuse or circuit breaker blows, find out why it blew and correct the problem.
*Make sure replacement fuses have the proper amperage rating for the circuit they protect.
*Don’t overload your wiring by plugging more than one heat-producing appliance into the same outlet or circuit.
AFCI (arc-fault circuit-interrupter):
When an electrical switch is opened or closed, an arc or discharge of electricity across a circuit occurs. Unintentional arcs can occur at loose connections or where wires or cords have been damaged. Such arcs can lead to high combustibles. AFCIs protect against fire by continuously monitoring the electrical current in a circuit and shutting off the circuit when unintended arcing occurs. NFPA’s National Electrical Code (NEC). requires AFCI installation in bedrooms of new residential construction. Test AFCIs monthly.
GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter):
A ground fault is an intentional electrical path between a source of electrical current and a grounded surface. Electrical shock can occur if a person comes into contact with an energized part. A ground-fault circuit interrupter can reduce the risk of shock by immediately shutting off an electrical circuit when that circuit represents a shock hazard (i.e. a person comes in contact with a faulty appliance together with a grounded surface). They can be hard-wired into your electrical system, built into or plugged into electrical outlets or built into extension cords. GFCI installation is required by the NEC for receptacles in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor areas, basements and garages in new residential construction. Test GFCIs monthly.
*Replace old outlets with modern ones that accept three-pronged polarized plugs (only if your circuit has a ground wire).
*Never alter a plug to fit an outdated outlet.
*Install plastic safety covers in unused outlets to protect children.
*Buy only appliances that bear the label of an independent testing lab.
*Keep irons, space heaters and all heat-producing appliances at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
*Unplug toasters, coffeemakers and all small appliances when they’re not in use.
*Allow adequate ventilation around computers, stereo systems and all electronic components to prevent overheating.
*Replace cracked and frayed electrical cords.
*Don’t pinch cords against walls or furniture or run them under carpets or across doorways.
*Place lamps on level surfaces and away from combustibles.
*Use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.
*Use shades that will protect the bulb from breaking if the lamp is knocked over.
*Make sure outdoor electrical fixtures are weatherproof.
*Power holiday lighting displays from permanent circuits installed by an electrician-never from extension cords.
*Don’t use electrical appliances outdoors when the ground or grass is wet unless the tool has been rated for that kind of use.
*Never run extension cords across lawns, walks or driveways and use only extension cords rated for outdoor use.
*Never touch a power line. Stay at a safe distance-you could be electrocuted.
*Keep ladders (especially metal ones) far away from power lines, including the electrical service into your home.
*Report downed power lines and mark the area to warn people to stay away.
Be aware of unusual conditions. Spot electrical problems before they start a fire or cause a shock. Watch for:
*Recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
*Feeling a tingle when you touch an electrical appliance.
*Discolored wall outlets.
*A burning smell or rubbery odor coming from an appliance.
*Flicking lights. (If you don’t pinpoint a problem inside your home, have the power company inspect the service in your home and you electric meter).
Don’t wait for problems. If it’s safe, unplug malfunctioning appliances. If necessary, cut off power by unscrewing a fuse or turning off the circuit breaker. Then call a professional electrician.
Visit us online at:
NFPA Order at http://www.nfpacatalog.org or call 1-800-344-3555
Disclaimer: This information was taken from the National Fire Protection Association pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please give the above number for more information.