Each year, electrical failures and malfunctions cause 43,900 home fires, resulting in 438 deaths, 1,430 injuries, and $1.47 billion in property damage. But many home electrical fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electrical safety principles and following safe practices.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have teamed up to offer safety tips to help protect homes and, most importantly, those who reside in them.
The ESFI recommends that a qualified, licensed electrician perform all home electrical work in compliance with local and national safety standards. Residents are also encouraged to regularly check cords, outlets, switches, and appliances for signs of damage. Do not use damaged electrical devices.
Extension cords should never be used on a permanent basis, and never used with space heaters or air conditioners.
Despite best efforts at prevention, a fire could still happen. The following tips will help make sure your family is prepared to make a safe escape: Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Test smoke alarms every month by pushing the TEST button. Create a family fire escape plan that includes two ways out of each room, and pick an easy-to-find meeting place outside, a safe distance from your home.
Residents are encouraged to visit www.esfi.org for more home electrical safety information and for ESFI’s Fire Prevention Week resources.