If you’re using an air conditioner this summer to beat the heat, check out these safety tips to be sure you stay safe while keeping your cool:

Window Air Conditioners and Fans

Did you know that more than 1/3 of air conditioner and fan fires began with the ignition of electrical cords and cables? (Source: NFPA)

  • Avoid using extension cords which can become overheated and cause a fire hazard.
  • Inspect cords and plugs for damage, broken plugs, fraying or loose connections.
  • Make sure your air conditioner has a label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., MET Laboratories Inc. or NSF International.
  • Do not install air conditioners in windows that serve as emergency exits.
  • Be sure air intakes are not blocked on fans.

HVAC/Central Air Conditioners

  • Have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once a year.
  • Change your air filter to keep it clean and reducing strain on the unit.
  • Make sure the space around your HVAC unit is clear of any flammable and combustible items.
  • Be sure the access panels and covers are on at all times.
  • Teach children to stay away from AC units.   It can be very dangerous or damaging if anyone tries to stick anything through the grills.

Air conditioners cause an average of 20 deaths, 140 injuries, and $82 million in property damage in the U.S. annually according to a 2016 report by the National Fire Protection Association.