When you envision residential
electrical fires, you may think they’re most likely to occur in the winter when people use
space heaters, when Christmas trees are up, and when electric blankets are being used.
But in reality, they can occur at any time of year, including the
According to the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading
cause of U.S. home fires in 2012-2016 (behind fires caused by unattended
equipment), accounting for 13% of home structure fires.”
The NFPA reports that:
- The highest share of civilian deaths arose from fires involving electrical
failures or malfunctions, accounting for 18% of fatalities.
- Two out of five electrical fires (39%) occurred between November and February.
- In roughly three out of five electrical home fires, “arcing”
was the heat source.
- The third leading type of equipment involved in residential fires was electrical
distribution and lighting equipment (10% of home fires), behind cooking
and heating equipment.
Staying Safe During the Summer
As temperatures rise in the Greater Atlanta Area, so do the number of appliances
being used to bring people relief from the summer heat. But when plugging
in air conditioners and fans, people need to remember that they’re
electric appliances that can pose electrical safety and fire hazards.
As mentioned earlier, arc faults are the leading cause of residential electrical
fires. An arc fault occurs when faulty or disrupted wiring creates a spark
of electricity. An arc fault is more likely to occur in a home with older
wiring or insulation or when a wire is accidentally pierced when a picture
is being hung. One of the best ways to prevent an electrical fire caused
by an arc fault is to install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) throughout
Aside from arc faults, other common causes of home electrical fires include
faulty outlets, damaged or frayed power cords, over-crowded plugs, outdated
appliances, running cords under rugs, bulbs with wattage that are too
high for lamps, and
To perform a home electrical safety audit,
contact Lightning Bug Electric today!