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Electrical Safety

Circuit Breaker Picture


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 licensed electrician.

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.

Wire Short Picture


  • 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 counter.
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that burn.
  • Use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage.
  • 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 lives.


More Tips

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