What Everyone Needs to Know About Home Electrical Fires


Home electrical fires are a concern to us all; it doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, anyone can be seriously injured or killed in a home electrical fire, even if they’re at someone else’s home! To enlighten readers on the dangers of home electrical fires, we went straight to the source and found the latest data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

“Local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 44,880 home fires involving electrical failures or malfunction each year in 2012-2016,” according to the NFPA. What do the stats say? Between those years (2012 and 2016), home fires from electrical failures or malfunctions caused on average 440 fatalities and another 1,250 injuries.

Can you imagine if your child or grandchild was staying at a friend’s house for a sleepover and they were killed in a home electrical fire? Or, what if there was an electrical failure at your own home in the middle of the night (since most electrical fires occur between 12:00 AM and 8:00 AM), and friends or family lost their lives? Kind of changes the way you view electrical safety.

What Causes Electrical Fires?

According to the NFPA, home electrical fires are caused by:

  • Power transfer, electrical distribution, and lighting equipment (50%)
  • Cooking equipment (15%)
  • Heating equipment (9%)
  • Fans (6%)
  • Air-conditioners (3%)
  • Clothes dryers (3%)

Increased Danger During the Cold Months

Did you know that 39% of home electrical fires occur during the colder months, between November and February? Fires during this time of year accounted for a whopping 60% of deaths, according to the NFPA. Because people are indoors more during the wintertime, they use a lot more electricity than usual. This is why the uptick in residential electrical fires during this time of year, every year.

Next: Should I Do My Own Electrical Work?

To learn how to be fire smart, read this infographic from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)!

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