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.
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, the importance of electrical fire safety, and the safety of electrical workers, in May. This year’s theme is: Decoding the NEC® to Prevent Shock and Electrocution.*
To help reduce your risk, NFPA and ESFI recommend that you 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.
Facts & figures
- Between 2010 and 2014, U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an average of 45,210 home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction. These fires caused annual averages of 420 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage.
- The bedroom was the leading area of origin for home fires involving lamps, light fixtures, and bulbs, with 22% of the total
- Extension cords account for the greatest share of home fires involving cords or plugs, with 57% of the fire total.
Source: NFPA's "Electrical Fires," report.
NFPA helps Dan Doofus get grounded in the basics of electrical safety.
Sample social media posts
Use these sample electrical safety posts on Facebook or Twitter.
Electrical safety messages in American Sign Language
Get an overview of the care that needs to be taken when using electricity, the proper way to plug in appliances, and what to do if fuses blows or circuit breakers trip.
In this presentation, an overview is given on the care that needs to be taken when using electricity, the proper way to plug in appliances, and what to do if fuses blows or circuit breakers trip.
*The NEC is the National Electrical Code. The NEC’s mission is to provide practical safeguards from the hazards that arise from using electricity. It is the most widely adopted safety code in the United States and the world, and it serves as the benchmark for safe electrical installations.