NFPA, ESFI emphasize importance of electrical fire safety during National Electrical Safety Month

May 1, 2017 – Electricity helps make our lives easier but there are times when we can take its power and its potential for fire-related hazards for granted. That is why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) actively supports National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which works to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety during May.

A new NFPA report shows that in 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 45,210 home structure fires caused by electrical problems per year. These fires caused 420 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage annually. More than half (57 percent) of these fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment such as wiring, lamps, cords or plugs.

“Computers, kitchen appliances, fans and other equipment that use electricity have the potential to be involved in an electrical fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Fortunately, people can take steps to greatly reduce electrical hazards like safeguarding electrical outlets in the home, learning the proper way to plug in appliances, and more.”


NFPA helps Dan Doofus get grounded in the basics of electrical safety.

Another important step residents can take to help decrease their risk, according to ESFI and NFPA, is to have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician, including electrical inspections when buying or remodeling a home. The following are additional tips residents can follow to help keep their homes safe from electrical fires:

  • Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets where they are can get damaged.
    • Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets in your home to reduce the use of extension cords.
    • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. Check the sticker on the lamp to determine the maximum wattage light bulb to use.

For additional tips and resources including infographics, fact sheets, and videos about electrical fire safety, visit ESFI’s home electrical safety resource webpage and NFPA’s electrical safety webpage.

About ESFI
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275