A recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration shows home electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure over 1,000 more. Overloaded circuits and extension cords cause many electrical fires in the home or workplace.
Electrical fires occur most during the winter months due to the increased time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating and appliances.
Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken. Review the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire:
- Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
- Replace any electrical tool or appliance if it overheats, shorts out, causes even small electric shocks, or gives off smoke or sparks.
- If 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.
- Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
Source: U.S. Fire Administration