December, January and February are the leading months for U.S. home fires!
Cooking, heating, holiday decorations and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months. NFPA and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) are teaming up to help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical fires. In the coming months, we’ll highlight specific elements of winter fire safety.
In the final month of our “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign, we’re focusing on electrical safety.
Electricity is so ingrained in our daily lives that most of us take it for granted, but it does carry fire risks. In fact, electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. In 2013, electrical fires or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 44,900 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments. These fires caused 410 deaths, 1,180 injuries and $1.3 billion in direct property damage. On average each year between 2007 and 2011, roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment.
NFPA offers a wealth of electrical home fire statistics that underscore the impact electrical fires have on the home fire problem. Meanwhile, our electrical safety tip sheet (PDF) provides simple steps for safely using electrical appliances this winter and all year long.
Dan Doofus teaches us some electrical safety tips.
Other winter safety topics
See NFPA's safety tips on heating, Carbon Monoxide, cooking and candles.