Home Electrical Fire Safety Tips

A hand plugging in an electrical cord into a wall outlet

Electrical Failure or Malfunction Is a Leading Cause of Home Fires

Did you know there are approximately 47,000 home electrical fires each year? Wiring, receptacles such as outlets and power strips, and electrical panel wiring are the items most involved in home electrical fires.

Follow these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration to help prevent fires and to stay safe.

Outlet Safety

  • Do not overload outlets.
  • Insert plugs fully into sockets.
  • Never force a three-prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
  • Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children.
  • Replace wall outlets if plugs do not fit snugly.

Extension cords, power strips and surge protector safety

  • Do not overload power strips.
  • Use power strips that have internal overload protection.
  • Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away.
  • Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.

Appliance Fire Safety

  • Always plug major appliances — refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers — directly into a wall outlet.
  • Never use an extension cord with a major appliance. The extension cord can overheat and start a fire.
  • Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
  • Keep anything that can burn away from lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • If the appliance has a cracked, damaged or loose cord, replace the appliance.

SOURCE: U.S. Fire Administration


The information presented in this document is for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to assist individuals, farmers, and business owners in identifying common hazards/risks and considering proactive loss prevention or loss mitigation actions. For information related to specific loss hazards, please contact your insurance agent.

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