Electrical Fires 101: Starting at Home

Most electrical fires start in bedrooms, living rooms, family rooms and dens. To protect yourself or someone you love from becoming an electrical fire statistic, take an electrical safety walk:

  1. Check for faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Inspect appliance cords, receptacles and switches and keep cords away from curtains and rugs that can start a fire.
  2. Use the proper wattage in your lamps and light fixtures and never exceed the recommended amount. Keep cloth and paper away from the lampshade so it doesnt heat and ignite.
  3. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. Misuse can cause electrical fires. Hire an electrician if you need additional outlets or need outlet repair.
  4. Space heaters are a major cause of electrical fires. Coil heaters are especially dangerous because they become so hot they can instantaneously ignite.
  5. If your home is over twenty years old, your wiring may be at its capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in todays home with computers, wide screen televisions, and kitchen appliances.

Here are some sobering statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

  • Over 28,000 electrical fires occur each year.
  • Property damage and loss amount to over $1 billion dollars.
  • Loss of life and injury 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries.