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Fire Safety for Milwaukee Homeowners

In honor of October being Fire Safety Month, we find it only fitting that we share some fire prevention tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Electrical Safety in your Milwaukee Home

  • Frayed or cracked electrical cords should be replaced immediately.
  • Don’t run electrical cords under rugs. They can overheat, and the insulation might wear away creating both shock and fire hazards.
  • For the same reason, never overload outlets or extension cords. Overheating = melty. Melty is bad.
  • NEVER use an adapter to connect a three prong appliance to a two prong extension cord! If something breaks, that ‘extra’ wire helps the fuse blow before you do.
  • If you have to use a three prong adapter at the wall outlet, make sure it’s ‘extra’ wire is connected to the center screw of the outlet.
  • Always plug unused electrical outlets with plastic safety caps. Modern outlets may have these built in – if you can’t add your own caps look for internal doors doing this job for you.

Bathroom Safety in your Milwaukee Home

  • Water and appliances don’t mix. Keep portable appliances away from running water, filled sink, and so on. Unplug them when done so the next person isn’t shocked by your behavior.
  • Check that your bathroom outlets have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). These compare the current leaving the outlet with the current coming back, and shut down if there is a leak – possibly through you?
  • There are shower radios designed to get right in there with you. If that’s what you want, make sure that’s what you’ve got. Otherwise, go it acapella!

Smoke Detectors – An Important Part of Fire Safety

  • Every level of your house should have a smoke detector. The one nearest the kitchen should be far enough away to avoid false alarms from any cooking adventures.
  • Change the batteries in older units twice a year, when you change your clocks. Test them monthly to ensure they still work.
  • Newer smoke detectors have a permanent (10 year) battery. Any smoke detector over 10 years old should be replaced, so it works out.
  • An alternative is to wire your smoke detectors directly into the house’s electrical system. This allows for all detectors to sound when only one has recognized smoke, and no batteries!
  • Smoke detectors with emergency lighting are available, helpful for hearing impaired as well as lighting the way out of an emergency.

Miscellaneous Fire Safety Tips to Keep You Safe in your Milwaukee Home

  • Change your furnace filters on a regular basis (check your owner’s manual for recommended frequency).
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis to avoid chimney fires.
  • Always use the correct wattage light bulb when replacing burned out lights. Using a wattage higher than the socket is made for can cause a fire.
  • Make sure any portable space heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything flammable.
  • Speaking of space heaters, ever notice they are all 1500 watts? That’s everything one regular wall outlet can do without releasing the magic smoke. No sharing!

Following these safety tips will help keep you, your family, and your home more protected from sudden fires. Your friendly licensed electricians at Milwaukee Handyman can help keep your Milwaukee home up-to-date with the most current fire prevention maintenance.