According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to approximately 45,210 home fires involving electrical failures and malfunctions a year. Of those fires, 420 civilians were killed, and 1,370 more civilians were injured.
8 Tips to Prevent Electrical Fires at Home
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States. According to the NFPA’s Electrical Fires Fact Sheet:
- 57% of home fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment
- 19% of the fires involved HVAC equipment
- 10% of the fires had to do with cords and plugs
One of the best ways to avoid a home electrical fire is to regularly inspect electrical cords and plugs in your home:
- Discard any worn or fraying plugs or cords immediately.
- Some homeowners may be tempted to try to remove the third prong on a plug in order to plug it into a two-prong outlet. This is incredibly dangerous and should never be attempted.
- Replace any two-pronged outlets in your home with safer, three-pronged outlets.
- Unplug cords correctly and stay as safe as possible. When unplugging a cord from the outlet, hold it securely by the plug. Do not pull on the cord — this causes premature wear and tear, increasing the chance of an electrical shock, electrical fire, or a short circuit.
- Be cautious about relying on multi-outlet extenders such as surge protectors and power bars. Plugging in too many devices into an outlet can cause it to overload.
- Extension cords are a temporary solution. If you need the extra length throughout the year, hire an electrical contractor to install more electrical outlets.
- Do not run electrical cords under rugs and carpets.
- Practice proper safety measures around portable heaters and keep heat, water, and space heaters away from electrical cords.
Keep your holiday season merry and bright by knowing and following all electrical safety precautions this winter. Need electrical assistance? Contact Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 to speak to a member of our team.