The American Burn Association observes Burn Awareness Week each year during the first full week of February. This time gives organizations and individuals a window of opportunity to educate on fire and burn safety as well as spread awareness on vital prevention measures.
This year’s theme for Burn Awareness Week, which takes place from February 7-13, 2021, is Electrical Safety. To help raise awareness during this time, our team put together the below information that you can utilize to keep your loved ones and home safe.
Electrical Fire Facts
Every single one of us uses electricity in some way, yet many of us take for granted having safe electrical systems in our homes. When the proper safety precautions are not taken with electrical equipment, devastating fires can result. To put into perspective the prevalence of this issue, here are some electrical fire statistics from the National Fire Prevention Association:
- Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of home fires in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016.
- These accounted for nearly 13% of all home fires.
- Annually, electrical failures result in about 34,000 home fires, 440 deaths, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
- Nearly 2 out of 5 electrical fires take place between November and February.
Common Causes of Home Electrical Fires
Understanding the common causes and warning signs of electrical fires can help you take the steps necessary to prevent them in your home. The most common causes of electrical malfunctions and fires include:
- Incorrectly installed wiring
- Overloaded circuits
- Overloaded extension cords
- Defective or faulty plugs, switches, and outlets
- Misuse or poor maintenance of systems
Additionally, if you notice any of the following occurring in your home, it could be a warning sign that your electrical system has a problem that needs immediate attention:
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Switches or outlets that are hot to the touch
- Discolored outlets or switches
- Fuses that repeatedly blow
Safeguarding Your Home From Electrical Fires
The good news is that there are steps that you can take, whether you are a homeowner or a renter, to reduce the risk of electrical fire and potential harm in your home:
- Check to ensure you are using the correct wattage in your lights and other appliances
- Don’t overload circuits or extension cords (they should be cool to the touch)
- Replace or repair damaged cords
- Keep your unused cords tidy and away to protect them from damage
- Unplug your unused appliances
- Keep electrical devices and cords away from water
- Ensure that your exhaust fans are clean
- Always follow appliance instructions for safety
If you are having an electrical issue that you are unsure how to fix or remedy, you should contact a qualified electrician who can ensure all your appliances are set up correctly and your electrical wiring system is safely functioning.
If you or a loved one is injured in a fire at any point, our firm is available to help you pursue your legal options so you can move forward with your life. Contact Huffman & Huffman at (757) 330-3425 to speak with our legal team for free today.