Understanding your outlets to avoid a house fire

Firefighters fighting fire during trainingSave On Energy shared that according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical malfunctions are the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Your electrical outlets can be a source of these fires if they’re not being used properly.

Now that we’re spending more time at home, most of us are also spending more time in the kitchen. You may be making coffee, while someone else is microwaving a meal, and yet another person is using the toaster oven.

And then, we’re all charging our laptops, tablets, and phones, watching TV, and playing video games.

“As many of us continue to work from home, having a reliable productive set up is important,” says Eamon Lynch, director of the warranty service at Power Home Remodeling, a full-service exterior home remodeler. “I recommend testing your home’s outlets and electrical current to make sure everything is in working condition.”

Test your electrical current

Lynch recommends using a hairdryer to help you check your outlets. “Grab your hairdryer, plug it into an outlet you know is functioning properly, and turn it on,” he explains. “Once you’ve determined that your hair dryer works properly, you can then plug it into different outlets in your home to test which ones are working.”

He admits that you could use other small appliances to test your outlets. “However, I like to use a hairdryer because you can quickly hear it and identify any outlets that need to be replaced.”

You can also use a multimeter, but if you have any reservations about how to use it, contact a qualified electrician, since they have the experience and tools to make the right diagnosis.

 

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