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