Electrical Fire Safety

THE PROBLEM

  • Home appliance and wiring fires account for 50,000 fires, 200 deaths, $675 million property loss.
  • Some fires are caused by system failure or defects, more by misuse and poor maintenance, overloaded circuits and misuse of extension cords. In urban areas, cords and plugs are primary causes. 30% of home electrical wiring fires can be traced to misuse of electric cords, overloaded circuits, poor maintenance and running cords under rugs or through high traffic areas. Most electrical wiring fires start in the bedroom and wiring causes twice as many fires as appliances.
  • December is the most dangerous month for electrical fires.

 FIRE PREVENTION

  • Routinely check and replace worn, old or damaged cords and wiring.
  • Don’t overload extension cords; they are not a substitute for fixed wiring. Don’t bend, coil, staple, or place cords under rugs or furniture and don’t walk on cords. Don’t overload any circuit, properly size circuit fuses, breakers.
  • Don’t force three-prong plugs into two-slot outlet or extension cords.
  • Look for the UL label on all electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from water and don’t allow children to use or play with electrical appliances like irons and hair dryers.
  • Unplug all appliances while away from home.