According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), about 51,000 home electrical fires occur each year. In addition to space heaters, old appliances and smoking cigarettes indoors, light fixtures are a common culprit in these home disasters. At Restoration Lighting Gallery, we encourage homeowners to practice lamp safety to protect their families and prevent expensive property damage.
What steps can you take to keep your lamp from causing a tragic electrical fire?
1. Unplug Lamps When Leaving a Room
Although it’s habit for many of us to leave a room without turning the lights off, fixtures like table and floor lamps are prone to overheat when left on for too long. When leaving a room or the house altogether, make sure these fixtures are unplugged, especially if the lamp shade or base feels hot to the touch.
2. Inspect the Wiring
Cords can become frayed quickly when furniture is placed on top or rugs constantly brush against them. When wires are exposed in the vicinity of flammable materials, there is a chance that a flame could be ignited. If a lamp is used often, but it’s left on all night and no one has inspected the cord for damage, make it a priority to inspect the fixture.
3. Change the Light Bulb
Sometimes, we simply forget to complete easy tasks. For instance, if your bedside lamp has been flickering every time you turn it on for the past month, it’s important to change the bulb sooner rather than later. This could be the first sign of a more serious electrical problem that could be prevented with a fresh bulb. Note that you should not exceed the recommended wattage for a particular lamp; this is another common cause of house fires.
4. Keep Flammable Items Away
It may be one of the first rules of fire safety, but we often do certain actions without thinking of the consequences. Maybe you close the curtains in a rush or toss a blanket on the couch and the material comes in contact with a lamp. Whether the lamp is on and starts to get hot or it’s off, but still cooling down, contact with a flammable item is very dangerous.
5. Ask for a Safety Inspection
At Restoration Lighting Gallery, our repair team rewires light fixtures every day. These professionals know the warning signs of a lamp that needs service and are happy to perform a safety inspection on yours in our store. When the lamp has been approved fit for safe operation, the light is free to shine bright in your home once again! Contact us to learn more.
If an electrical fire does happen in your home, call 911, get everyone out safely and only attempt to stop the flames from spreading with a Class C fire extinguisher.