Electrical fire safety

More than 1,000 Americans die or are injured respectively by electrical fires occurring at home. Many of these accidents are caused by faulty installed wiring and overloaded extensions and circuits.

Below are some tips on how you can reduce and prevent the loss of life and property from electrical fire.

The problem

Electrical safety - woman

Home electrical faults cause over 26,100 fires and account to over 1 billion loss in property during each year. Half of these result from faulty electrical wiring.

The months of December and January are the most dangerous months that electrical fires occur. Winter accounts for the highest number of death arising from electrical fires due to increased level of indoor activities. This is caused by increased appliance use, heating and lighting. Most of the fires start from the bedroom for fires resulting from residential buildings. The highest number of deaths results from fires that originate in the family room/living room.

The cause:

  • Electrical fires at home result from ‘’fixed wiring’’ like old wiring and faults electrical outlets. Faulty cords, plugs, switches and receptacles may also cause fires at home.
  • Light bulbs, lamps and light fixtures are also causes of electrical fires
  • The fires can be traced to overloading circuits, running cords under rugs in high traffic areas and electrical cords.

Safety precautions:

  • Always make a routine check on your wiring sands electrical applications
  • Replace all damaged and old electrical appliances to reduce the risk of fires.
  • All appliances that cause electric shock, overheats, emits sparks or smokes should be replaced immediately.
  • All electrical appliances should be kept away from counters and wet floors. Precaution should also be taken for appliances in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Always buy electrical appliances that have been approved by the national laboratory.
  • All curtains, clothes and combustible items should be kept three feet’s away from the heaters.
  • Never force an appliance into fitting in a socket. Appliances that have three prongs should be used on three slot outlets only.
  • Children should never be allowed to play with electrical appliances like hairdryers, heaters and irons.
  • Child proof should be used on all electrical outlets.
  • Avoid overloading sockets and extensions
  • Shut down and replace hot switches and lights that flicker
  • Always switch off any appliances that are not in used. This will ensure that nothing is left unattended and will save you the power cost.

It is always good to have a qualified electric professional’s service your wiring regularly to avoid electrical fires at home.

By taking the above precaution measures you will have made some progress at avoiding fire from occurring at your home.