December 16, 2015
In the plugged-in world we live in, it’s more important than ever before to monitor your ministry’s electrical system for overloaded circuits and faulty electrical systems. Below are precautions your ministry can take to prevent electrical fires at your ministry:
1. Hire a professional. Establish a maintenance contract with a qualified contractor. A record of inspection, with a maintenance log, should be posted near the boiler or furnace.
2. Don’t skip check-ups. Make sure a professional inspects your furnace or boiler and electrical system on a regularly bases.
3. Think before you store. Do not store flammable or combustible items near the furnace or boiler.
4. Power down. Remember to turn off electrical items, not in use, especially space heaters. Other specialized equipment, such as electronic musical instruments, and organ motors should also be turned off.
5. Test the smoke alarms. Make sure your smoke alarms work. Alarms that automatically alert emergency fire protection personnel are most valuable.
6. Check for warning signs. Regularly inspect electrical devices and appliances. Immediately replace anything that overheats, shorts, smokes, sparks, or shocks.
7. Unplug chargers. Chargers create heat and can malfunction. Use chargers properly, then unplug them.
8. Don’t overload or alter circuits. Avoid having too many devices plugged into a single circuit, and do not alter three-prong plugs or use adaptors to make them fit a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
9. Extend with caution. If you use extension cords, splitters, or power strips, use only commercially rated ones. Use them correctly, and only on a temporary basis.
10. Check the circuit breaker panel. Be sure all breakers are the proper size for each circuit and consider upgrading an older electrical system.