On average, there are over 38,000 home
fires per year associated with wiring, switches, outlets, cords and plugs,
fuse and circuit breaker boxes, and other equipment involved in
distributing electricity around the home. The electrical service
equipment fires kill over 300 people and injure over 1,000 annually.
Fixed wiring causes one-third of home
electrical distribution fires.
Cords and plugs cause one-sixth of home
electrical distribution fires and one-third of related deaths. In
many cases, people can easily check and fix cords, if necessary, without a
Each year, electrical shock (not resulting
in a fire) causes hundreds of burn deaths and thousands of burn injuries.
Nearly two-thirds of electrical burn
injuries among children ages 12 and under are associated with household
electrical cords and extension cords.
- Replace or repair any electrical device
with a loose or frayed cord.
- Avoid running extension cords across
doorways or under carpets.
- In homes with small children, receptacle
outlets should have plastic safety covers.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions
for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet. Most
receptacle outlets contain two receptacles. As an added
precaution, consider plugging only one high wattage appliance into
each receptacle outlet.
- Avoid the use of "cube taps"
and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances
into a single receptacle.
- In the kitchen, push back cords for
countertop appliances to keep young children from pulling them off the
- Place lamps on level surfaces, away from
things that burn.
- Use bulbs that match the lamp's
- GFCI's (ground fault circuit
interrupters) can greatly reduce the risk of shock by shutting off
faulty electrical circuits faster than conventional fuses or circuit
breakers can. GFCI's are inexpensive; professional electricians
can hard-wire them into your home electrical system.
- It is also important to keep a fully
charged, certified fire extinguisher readily accessible.
- And…REMEMBER….smoke alarms save
Back to main
Fire Prevention Bureau menu
Back to main
Fire Department menu