4 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

Facts & Figures

  • Roughly half (48%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011.
  • In 2007-2011, 46% of electrical failure home fires involved other known type of equipment. The leading other known type of equipment involved in home electrical fires are washer or dryer, fans, and portable or stationary space heater.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,410 reported home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 325 civilian fire deaths, 950 civilian fire injuries, and $817 million in direct property damage.
  • Some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as a factor contributing to ignition for 74% of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires.

Source: NFPA’s “Electrical Fires,” by John R. Hall, Jr., April 2013

Keep Your Home & Loved Ones Safe

#1: Inspect Electrical Wiring

The lifespan of a home’s electrical system is 30 to 40 years. But, considering that many homes were built before the 1965, most systems are past their prime. Homes built before this time are insufficient at meeting the demands of today’s high-tech appliances and electronics. That is why it is so very important to hire a licensed professional electrician to come to inspect the wiring throughout your home.

#2: Don’t Overburden Electrical Sockets

As you continue to upgrade to the latest and greatest gadgets out there – or you just add new ones to your home – make sure not to overburden your electrical sockets with too many cords. And, while it’s a great idea to use a surge protector, you won’t want to overburden that either. If fuses blow or trip more often than not, you may want to consider contacting an electrician.

#3: Repair or Replace Faulty Wiring

If any of your extension cords, surge protectors, electric cords or other wiring is frayed, tattered, discolored or otherwise worn out looking replace it. Wiring in poor condition can overheat thus putting undue pressure on your electrical outlets which can cause a fire. It can also cause sparks to fly which can also cause a fire.

#4: Make Sure Electrical Products Are UL-listed

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a nationally recognized electrical safety standards organization. Through numerous tests they determine just how safe a product such as extension cords, batteries, plug-in night lights and surge protectors are. Products that have passed their stringent tests will have a UL logo listed on them. Only buy these products.

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