National Electrical Safety Month is dedicated to promoting electrical safety and raising awareness about the potential hazards of electricity. This year’s theme is Electrical Safety for All Ages. Children and adults over age 65 are especially at risk of being injured by electricity. Those who are 65 and older are 2.6 times more likely to die in an electric al fire than the general population.

One reason seniors are at risk is because they often live in older homes or homes that have had significant renovations. You should have your home electrical system inspected by a licensed professional if:

  • Your home is more than 40 years old
  • Your home has had a previous owner
  • Your home has undergone a major renovation
  • You have added new major appliances within the last 10 years

These tips from our Rockford injury lawyers will help you prevent electrical fire in your home:

  • Cheap appliances are not always a bargain. Make sure that all your electrical appliances have been tested by an independent research laboratory (Such as Underwriters Laboratories). They will have a label from the lab that did the testing.
  • When using electric appliances, follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.
  • Extension cords should only be used for temporary purposes. If you use extension cords often, consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician.
  • Never run an electrical cord across a doorway or under a carpet.
  • Don’t pinch cords under furniture or in windows or doors.
  • Never nail or staple a cord.
  • Inspect cords frequently. Repair or replace any damaged, loose or frayed electrical cords. Throw out extension cords that are cracked or frayed.
  • Major appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, air conditioners, and stoves should never be used with an extension cord.
  • If an extension cord feels hot, replace it with a higher wattage cord.
  • If an outlet or switch feels warm, shut off the circuit until you can have it checked by an electrician.
  • Make sure you are using the correct wattage light bulbs in your light fixtures and lamps.
  • Keep lamps away from anything that can burn.
  • Never use an electric appliance while bathing, washing dishes, or using water.
  • If an appliance falls into water, turn off the power before touching appliance.
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home

Who is at fault for Illinois electrical fires?

Some electrical fires are caused by old wiring. In those cases, the owner of the home may be found negligent. However, if the wiring was recently replaced or repaired, the fault may belong to the contractor. When a defective appliance causes an electrical fire, the maker or manufacturer of the appliance may be held liable for the resulting damages. If a recently repaired appliance catches fire, the repair company may be to blame. There are many parties that may be at fault, but only a thorough investigation can determine who is liable.

Have you lost a loved one to an electrical fire? You deserve accountability. Our personal injury lawyers in Rockford can help you file an wrongful death claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-390-6350.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.