Electrical safety in the home

Safety Tip


Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician. Read all of NFPA's electrical safety tips and download our free safety tip sheet.

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.


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

Facts & Figures

  • Roughly half (48%) of home electrical failure fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011. 
  • In 2007-2011, 46% 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 washer or dryer, fans, and portable or stationary space heater.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,410 reported home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 325 civilian fire deaths, 950 civilian fire injuries, and $817 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.

Source: NFPA's "Electrical Fires," by John R. Hall, Jr., April 2013

Also see: Printable fact sheet on home electrical fires(PDF, 59 KB)

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