STOW, Mass. (WWLP) – With hot weather coming during National Electrical Safety Month, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey reminded Massachusetts residents that air conditioners and appliances should be plugged directly into wall outlets, not extension cords or power strips.

According to a news release sent to 22News by the Department of Fire Services, electrical fires are the second-leading cause of fire deaths and the third-leading type of residential fires overall in Massachusetts, the Marshal said.

Protect yourself and your family by following these safety tips at home:

  • Avoid overloading outlets
  • Use only one device plugged into a power strip at a time
  • Remember that extension cords are for temporary use
  • Check electrical cords for damage and keep them out from under rugs and furniture
  • Charge laptops, phones, e-cigarettes, and other rechargeable devices on hard, stable surfaces, not beds or couches
  • Call a licensed electrician if you experience flickering lights, frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, or unusually warm plugs, cords, or switches
  • Call your local fire department if you see arcs or sparks, hear a sizzling or buzzing sound, or smell the odor of something burning in the home
  • Have a licensed electrician review your home’s electrical system every ten years