An electrical fire can strike suddenly and without warning, causing catastrophic damage to your home and putting you and your family at risk. Our expert insurance lawyer at Your Insurance Attorney in Coconut Grove has helped many clients around the Miami-Dade County with handling insurance from these type of fires, but the best way to handle them is through preventative methods to stop them from happening in the first place. This is why we’re here today to share with you several tips to avoiding electrical fires and keeping your home safe.
Electronic Safety Tips
Outlets, plugs, and electronics are all sensitive items that need to be handled with care. There are many opportunities for sparks to fly and for fires to start, and the knowledge is the best weapon for combatting the risk of these things happening. Here are some rules you can follow at home to minimize the risks for electrical fires:
- Unplug electronics you aren’t using
- There’s little point to leaving electronics plugged in when they aren’t in use. By unplugging them at night or when you leave the house, you’re not only removing potential fire risks, but you’re also saving a little on electricity as plugged in items still use some power even when turned off. In regards to fire risks, this is especially true for electronics that produce a lot of heat, like toasters, curling irons, kettles, and other similar items.
- Don’t use damaged power cords
- If a power cord’s wiring gets exposed, it becomes increasingly risky for them to catch fire. Try to avoid this by handling your cords with care to avoid them becoming damaged easily and replacing them as soon as they show signs of damage.
- Never cut off the third prong to a power cord
- It’s frustrating when you have a 3-prong power cord, but a 2-prong outlet or extension cord, but regardless, cutting off the third prong is dangerous. These prongs exist to protect those devices from a malfunction or power surge, and removing the prong can lead to unnecessary risks.
- Update your home’s electrical system
- An outdated or faulty electrical system is a fire hazard waiting to happen. While it may be an investment, upgrading it not only decreases the risk of a fire starting, but also improves the value of your home.
- Don’t ignore warning signs
- It’s entirely possible for there to be problems within an electrical socket, and there are a number of warning signs you may spot that this can be the case. If you see sparks when you plug in items, notice discoloration around the outlet, smell burning when something’s plugged in, or notice abnormally hot wires or devices, you could have a problem.
What to Do if You See an Electrical Fire
If a fire starts in your home caused by electronics, you’ll first want to try and extinguish the fire. Never use water to try and put the fire out; use a class C fire extinguisher. When the flame is gone, quickly unplug everything from that electrical socket. If the flame is small enough, you can also use baking soda to smother the flames.
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you can’t get to it, or the fire is too big, then quickly evacuate with everyone in the household. Never leave any pets behind! From there, contact 9-1-1 and provide your local fire department with as much information as possible.
If your home has been damaged by an electrical fire, you’ll want to receive compensation through your insurance. That said, insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind, and so you may need the help of an insurance lawyer to receive the compensation you deserve.
For residences of Miami-Dade County, you can contact Your Insurance Attorney in Coconut Grove to receive the help you need.