GREENSBORO—May is national electrical safety month and a time when everyone should check their home for hazards.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International said each year, electrical failures cause nearly 45,000 home fires costing $1.47 billion in property damage.
A small spark can quickly cause an electrical fire and threaten homes and families. Chief Todd Lynch, of the Greensboro Fire Department, said there are some simple steps you can take to make your home safer.
"With appliances, you want to make sure you plug only one heat producing appliance into a receptacle, like a space heater, toaster or coffee maker,” said Lynch.
Lynch said a common electrical mistake is running cords under carpet.
"We find them under floor mats, under rugs, under doorways and what happens is they become frayed and they can potentially cause a fire," said Lynch.
Thomas Fleming, of Wayne Fleming Electric Co. Inc, said ground fault circuit interrupters can help prevent electrocution.
"Let's just say you have an appliance plugged in, say your hairdryer, and it falls in the tub, this will actually cut the electricity off," said Fleming.
Fleming said people should make sure all of their cords are in good condition.
“If you see any frays on your cords or on your appliance go ahead and get rid of them," said Fleming.
People can avoid using an extension cord all together by having a certified electrician come to your home and install additional circuits or outlets.
For more information on electrical safety, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International website.