According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 46,500 home fires in 2010. These fires caused 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage. Electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of unintentional home structure fires.
The good news is that many home electrical fires can be prevented if you are able to recognize the warning signs your home may be showing. The most important step you can take is to learn about your home’s electrical system. Once you are familiar with your system and how it works, you will be better able to identify potential hazards.
The following are some things you should know about your home’s electrical system:
The Electrical Safety Workbook provides an introduction to the basic home electrical system, as well as information to help you answer the above questions about your home.
The Home Electrical System Safety Video gives a brief visual overview of a home's electrical system components. It is also available in a Spanish language version - Seguridad del sistema eléctrico de la casa.