Be proactive to prevent electrical fires
by Dan Kaneko | June 11, 2022
I often take the power of electricity for granted because on the surface, it seems so easily accessible. All I need to do is flick on my light switches and plug in my devices, and I’m good to go. While powering up our home may seem like a simple process, it’s important for us to respect the power of electricity and remember the dangers it can present.
At Hawaiian Electric, we are big on safety. As a company, our employees prioritize safety in the workplace and at home, and we encourage our customers to do the same. You can find resources on our website for electrical safety, indoor safety, outdoor safety and storm safety.
One of the reasons we stress indoor electrical safety is to prevent electrical fires. Electrical fires occur when circuits are overloaded due to inadequate distribution of electricity.
Some of the most common causes of electrical fires include:
- Faulty outlets and damaged appliances
- Use of light bulbs that exceed light fixture ratings
- Misuse of extension cords
- Outdated wiring
If you suspect that you may have issues with your electrical system, the best thing you can do is consult a certified electrician. If you’re not sure if you have any issues with your electrical system, here are a few warning signs to look out for:
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Switches or outlets that are hot to the touch and/or emit an unusual odor
- Discolored cords, outlets, and switch plates
- Blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers
Even if you don’t observe any of these signs in your home, being proactive is the best way to keep your home safe. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home.
- Regularly inspect your home’s electrical wiring, outlets, and appliances. A certified electrician can diagnose problems and perform any necessary repairs.
- Unplug all appliances that generate heat.
- Do not use an appliance if the power cord is frayed or damaged. Replace the cord or purchase a new appliance instead.
- Do not run cords under rugs, bedding or other combustible materials.
- Do not leave combustible materials near lamps or light fixtures.
- Do not tamper with electrical cords or remove the third prong from a three-pronged plug.
For more home safety tips, visit: hawaiianelectric.com/electricalsafety.
Dan Kaneko is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.