Electrical fires leading type of home fire

Electrical fires are the No. 1 type of home fire, according to research (.pdf file) released this week by the National Fire Protection Association. In 2007, 51,800 home fires were attributed to electrical failure or malfunction. Equipment commonly involved included electrical distribution systems, lighting equipment, washers and dryers, fans, air-conditioning, space heaters, water heaters, and ranges.

Quincy, MA-based NFPA offers the following electrical safety tips:

  • Work on electrical distribution or lighting systems should be performed only by a qualified electrician.
  • When buying, selling or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a professional electrician.
  • Keep lighting equipment away from items that can burn, including shades, bedding, curtains and furniture.
  • Plug major appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet.
  • Replace cracked, loose or damaged electrical cords.

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