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Electrical Fires & Safety

A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.

When we think about electricity, we think about electric current. Electric current is the power running along wires in our home and generates heat as it travels. The electrical current is like water running through a hose. The size of the cord can carry only so much electricity before it starts to overheat. The insulation on home wiring, fuses, and other parts of the electrical system are all designed to carry a certain amount of electricity safely. The more electricity you draw along a cord, the more quickly it heats up. For instance, an appliance like a space heater can draw a lot of current and needs to be plugged in with a properly designed cord.

Extension cords

The plugs on cords are the places where heat builds up and the more cords you connect together, the more trouble spots you have. The connection between an extension cord and an appliance cord does not have the same safety features as those that are built into a wall socket. That is why extension cords are for temporary use only.

Maintenance

Electrical wiring needs maintenance and inspections. Have your electrical system examined by a licensed electrician every 10 years, All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician who obtains a permit when required. The permit process protects homeowners by requiring that an inspector check that the work is done correctly.

Arc-fault circuit interruptor

The AF-CI is a new device designed to actually reduce the likelihood of fires. It responds to arcing and sparking within a circuit before the circuit breaker or fuse trips. The AFCI breaker trips to help prevent the fire from occurring in the first place. The AFCI is installed at the electrical panel. AFCIs are mostly found in newly built homes, but can easily be installed in older homes equipped with circuit breakers.

Ground fault circuit interrupter

Installing GFCI receptacles can reduce deaths from electrical shock in and around the home by two-thirds. GFCIs should be installed by a qualified electrician in places near water such as kitchen counters, bathrooms and other areas subject to moisture, including outdoors.

Next week will be another article on electrical safety.

Stay S.A.F.F.E.,

credit: kilgore news herald

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