Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures, but many more are caused by incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded circuits and extension cords. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like consumers to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from electrical fires. During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 26,100 fires and $1 billion in property losses. About half of all residential electrical fires involve electrical wiring. December and January are the most dangerous months for electrical fires. Fire deaths are highest in winter months which call for more indoor activities and increases in lighting, heating, and appliance use. The bedroom is the leading area of fire origin for residential building electrical fires.
oRoutinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
Safety Precautions oRoutinely check your electrical appliances and wiring. oFrayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately. oReplace any electrical tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke or sparks. oKeep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen. oBuy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory. oKeep clothes, curtains, and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters. oIf an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord. oDon't allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers. oUse safety closures to "child-proof" electrical outlets.
The primary hazards to avoid when using them are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using them are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from improper use of portable generators. To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards: oAlways use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents. oNEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. oFollow manufacturer's instructions. oInstall battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer's instructions. oTest CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed. To Avoid Electrical Hazards:
To Avoid Fire Hazards: oBefore refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. oAlways store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers. oStore fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance. Information for this factsheet was provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Statistical Reports: Electrical and Appliance Fires Topical Fire Report Series The National Fire Data Center's Topical Fire Report Series explores facets of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. Primarily based on data collected through USFA's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), each issue briefly addresses the nature and relevance of the specific fire or fire-related problem, highlights important findings, and suggests other resources to consider for further information.