USFA: Electrical failure most frequent cause of residential building electrical fires

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Emmitsburg, MD – Approximately 280 people were killed and 1,125 were injured in home electrical fires from 2009 to 2011, according to a new report from the U.S. Fire Administration.

Almost 26,000 residential building electrical fires were reported during that time frame, and the dollar loss per fire was greater than for residential building non-electrical fires, the report states.

Most often, the first item ignited was electrical wire/cable insulation (30 percent), followed by structural member or framing (19 percent). The majority of fires – 79 percent – spread beyond the initial object.

USFA found electrical failure or malfunction was responsible for 90 percent of electrical fires, while electrical wiring, outlets and receptacles, and electrical branch circuits were the equipment commonly involved in the ignition.