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Safety


Protect Your Home from Electrical Fires This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign—Oct. 6-12


Each year, electrical fail- ures and malfunctions cause 43,900 home fires, resulting in 438 deaths, 1,430 injuries, and $1.47 billion in property dam- age. But many home electrical fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electri- cal safety principles and follow- ing safe practices. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign—Oct. 6-12— focuses on kitchen fires. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the Na- tional Fire Protection Associa- tion (NFPA) have teamed up to offer safety tips to help protect your home and family: •


Consider having your cir- cuit breakers replaced with arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which provide enhanced electri- cal fire protection by detecting dangerous arcing conditions. •


Safety should always be the top priority when working with electricity. ESFI recom- mends that a qualified, licensed electrician perform all home electrical work in compliance with local and national safety standards. •


Make sure all electrical panel circuits are properly la- beled. Always replace fuses or circuit breakers with the correct size and amperage. •


Keep the area around


the electrical panel clear so you can easily shut off power in an


emergency. •


Every month, use the


TEST button to check that ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) at outlets and AFCIs are working properly. •


every level of the home. •


Test smoke alarms every


month by pushing the TEST button. •


Create a family fire


Be mindful of warning signs of an electrical problem, such as outlets and switches that are warm or make crack- ling, sizzling, or buzzing noises. •


Regularly check cords, outlets, switches, and appli- ances for signs of damage. Do not use damaged electrical devices. •


lets. •


Avoid overloading out- Do not use lightbulbs


escape plan that includes two ways out of each room. •


Pick an easy-to-find


meeting place outside, a safe distance from your home. •


Do not use extension cords on a permanent basis, and never use them with space heaters or air conditioners. •


that exceed the recommended wattage of the light fixture or lamp.


Despite your best efforts at prevention, a fire could still happen. Fol- low these tips to make sure your family is pre- pared to make a safe escape: •


Install


smoke alarms inside each bed- room, outside each sleeping area, and on


Kay Electric Cooperative • 3


If anyone in your house- hold is deaf, or if your own hearing is diminished, consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light or vibration to alert you to a fire emergency.


Practice your escape plan by having at least two fire drills a year. One fire drill should be at night while your family is sleeping. •


Visit www.esfi.org for more home electrical safety informa- tion and for ESFI’s Fire Preven- tion Week resources. —Electrical Safety Foundation International


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