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Electrical Fire Safety

Learn how to protect your home and family from electrical fires.

Every year, people die in electrical fires in homes. Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of death for people over age 65. 

Overloaded electrical outlet with red slash through it.
​ Holiday Fire Safety – Overloaded electrical outlet (CC BY 2.0) by State Farm.

Protect your home from electrical fires

  • Do not overload outlets.
  • Plug heat generating appliances directly into an outlet, not into a power strip or extension cord.
  • Don't put electrical cords underneath rugs or pinched behind furniture
  • Charge laptops and phones only on hard surfaces, not on beds or sofas.
  • Have a licensed electrician review your home’s electrical system every ten years. Small upgrades and safety checks can prevent larger problems.
  • Consider installing tamper resistant (TR) outlets in homes with small children.
  • When charging devices that use lithium-ion batteries, always use the manufacturer’s battery, cord, and power adapter made specifically for the device. Disconnect charging equipment when the device is charged. Overcharging and aftermarket/generic accessories have been linked to serious Li-ion battery fires.

For more information about protecting your home from electrical fires:

Additional Resources

Potential Warning Signs and Hazards

Call the fire department immediately if you have any of these warning signs:

  • Arcs, sparks or short circuits;
  • Sizzling or buzzing sound;
  • Odors, vague smell of something burning.

Firefighters can use thermal imaging technology to see excessive heat inside the walls.

Call a professional electrician soon if you have any of these warning signs:

  • Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers;
  • Dim or flickering lights, bulbs that wear out too fast;
  • Overheated plugs, cords or switches;
  • Shock or mild tingle – more than normal static electricity;
  • Loose plugs; or
  • Unusually warm or faulty outlets or switches.

Contact for Electrical Fire Safety

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