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With the season of holiday lights approaching rapidly, I felt these tips were worth sharing. 
According to a recent United States Consumer Product Safety Commission study, defective electrical wiring systems cause approximately 40,000 residential fires annually.  In addition, electrical cords and plugs are involved in about 7,000 fires annually.  The National Electrical Safety Foundation offers these tips to safeguard your home against electrical fire and related losses:
Make sure that your outlets and extension cords are not overloaded.
Examine electrical cords to ensure they are not frayed, damaged, or placed under rugs or carpets.
Verify that the proper wattage bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps.
Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in bathrooms, utility rooms, and kitchens (this device helps protect people from electrocution
Take steps to protect your electrical appliances from power surges, such as by purchasing surge protection devices.
Consider updating your entire electrical system if your home is over 40 years old (many older homes contain aluminum wiring, which is much more susceptible to starting fires than copper wire required by modern building codes)
Have a safe and happy holiday season keeping in mind electricity is a tremendous benefit to us all, but that it needs to be respected in order to be safe.

Source: International Risk Management Institute (www.irmi.com) and Western National Group (www.wnins.com)


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