U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,500 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2006. These fires resulted in 340 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries and $1,447 million in direct property damage.
- Forty-six percent of home electrical failure fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2003-2006.
- In 2003-2006, 47% of electrical failure home fires involved other known type of equipment. The leading other known type of equipment involved in home electrical failure fires are fan, clothes dryer and air conditioning equipment.
- U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 25,100 reported U.S. non-confined home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2006. These fires resulted in 370 civilian fire deaths, 840 civilian fire injuries, and $776 million in direct property damage.
- Some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as factor contributing to ignition for 74% of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires.
- Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
- Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
- In homes with small children, unused wall sockets and extension-cord receptacles should have plastic safety covers.
- Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an electrician.
- When possible, avoid the use of "cube taps" and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
- Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage