QUINCY, Mass. — With extreme temperatures breaking records around the world, scientists predict that 2023 could be the hottest year on record. As a series of heat waves continue to blanket large portions of the U.S., residents are actively looking for more information on what they can do to beat the heat safely.
“As temperatures continue to increase across the country and more people turn to portable air conditioners and fans at home to cool off, these devices are often running at the same time we’re plugging in computers, kitchen appliances, and other devices, and for more hours a day than usual, which can present a fire hazard,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “By learning the proper way to plug in appliances and safeguard electrical outlets in the home, people can take simple steps to greatly reduce fire, electrical, and associated hazards.”
NFPA offers these best practices for staying fire-safe during extreme heat:
• Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) into a receptacle outlet at a time.
• Plug major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.) directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.
• Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended only for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets in your home to reduce the use of extension cords.
• Turn off lights when you are not in the room. Unplug appliances when not in use.
Carli notes that residents should call a qualified electrician or landlord when encountering the following warning signs in a house or apartment:
• Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers,
• A tingling feeling when touching an electrical appliance,