Fulton County Fire Rescue encourages residents to take steps to prevent electrical fires | Print |

Electrical fires in homes claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures, but many more are caused by incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

“We strongly believe that prevention is the best protection against any fire,” states Chief Larry Few of the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “All residents should take the time to learn simple steps that could prevent an electrical fire in their homes.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are steps every concerned resident should take to prevent an electrical fire:

Safety Precautions

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Replace any electrical tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Don't allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.
  • Use safety closures to "child-proof" electrical outlets.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

For more information about Fulton Fire Rescue, visit http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fcfrd-home. Follow them on Twitter @FCFRD.