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Ontario Home Insurance Tips for Preventing an Electrical Fire

We are now in the digital age with more gadgets than ever. With more people working from home, more devices are being plugged in and are running alongside home appliances. This often increases the use of extension cords and power bars, as they are needed to accommodate the increased number of items being plugged in. Overloading outlets like this could ultimately result in an electrical fire if not used properly. Even with the finest Ontario Home Insurance policies, this is always catastrophic.

To help prevent electrical fires from occurring in your home, we have put together some tips to ensure safe measures. We also go over warning signs that could indicate a potential issue with a home’s electrical system. Along with providing additional safety for your family, everyone wants to avoid a home insurance claim and help keep Ontario Home Insurance premiums as low as possible.

Electrical Safety Around the Home

• Unplug electrical appliances when not in use• Do not overload outlets with too many cords or devices

• If you still have a fuse panel, never replace a blown fuse with one of a higher amperage, and never a better time than now to have an electrician replace your fuse panel with a breaker panel.

• Use pet-resistant wires and cords to prevent chewing damage

• Install outlet covers to protect younger children from electric shocks

• Do not plug in devices with damaged power cords or attempt to fix them yourself

• Do not bring electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones or any device containing lithium ion batteries to bed, especially when being charged• Use electrical products certified by a recognized national testing laboratory and make sure to read and follow instruction manuals that come with your electrical products

Extension cord safety

• Match grounded (3 prong) extension cords to grounded electrical devices

• Never break off the round grounding prong of an electrical plug or trim, cut, or alter the plug blades

• Extension cords are for temporary usage not a permanent source of electrical wiring• Match your extension cord correct gauge/capacity to the device you are connecting to it

Upgrading Electrical

Many older homes are only capable of handling a minimum number of amps and utilizing just a few circuits. Increased demand on electricity can overload a circuit and cause fire or damage to your electrical panel circuitry. This can dramatically affect Ontario home insurance premiums and availability. Here are a few ways a licensed and bonded electrician can upgrade your home for your electrical needs, and improve safety:

• Upgrade the electrical panel to bring more power from the utility poles

• Rewire the home with insulated wires

• Replace outlets for new surge-proof ones

Warning Signs

Pay attention to the warning signs as they may indicate an issue with your home’s electrical system. Look for visible signs of excessive wear or damage to the plug, sockets, protective sheathings or power cords. If you notice one or more of these signs, stop using the outlet or device and contact a licensed electrician immediately.

• Burn marks or discolouration of wall outlets

• A burning smell or rubbery odour from an appliance• Flickering lights

• Recurring blown fuses or circuit breakers

• Electrical sparks or shock each time you plug in a device

Loss prevention helps everyone. Aside from saving lives and financial catastrophe, it helps keep Ontario home insurance premiums as low as possible.

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