We're into October now and for many of you, that means Homecoming Weekend is right around the corner. This particular weekend is definitely one of the most fun for college students because of the many parties and get togethers with friends, the big football game and other sporting events. It's also a time when fire safety couldn't be more important especially when we bring the festivities, and our many friends, indoors after a day of being out in the cold. So this week, we're talking about electrical fire safety.
If you plan on hosting a party at your house or in your dorm room or apartment, consider the following when it comes to "plugging in":
* Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
* Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
* Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
* Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage.
And don't ever be afraid to contact your landlord or resident assistant (RA) immediately if you notice such things as:
* Discolored or warm wall outlets
* A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
* Flickering or dimming lights
* Sparks from an outlet
These can be signs of a serious problem with the electrical system in your building.
NFPA has a great many other tips to help you plan a safe event as well as keep you safe year round. Check out our "electrical safety in the home" webpage for additional information and a downloadable tips sheet you can share with your roommates. Wherever your plans may take you this Homecoming Weekend, when it comes to campus fire safety, you can never be too careful. So remember, put safety first, and enjoy the weekend!