Electrical Fire Safety
By Vice President / Lieutenant Scot Best
November 6, 2023

Electricity helps make our lives easier but there are times when we can take its power and its potential for fire-related hazards for granted. Lighting to improve the look and safety of our homes, electric tools to make our outdoor work easier, and power lines to our home, all need to be handled with care. When working with, and using, electricity, we need to be cautious and keep safety in mind.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

• In 2015-2019 electrical distribution or lighting equipment, such as wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs, was involved in an estimated average of roughly 32,620 reported home structure fires per year. These incidents caused an average of 430 civilian deaths, 1,070 civilian injuries, and $1.3 billion in direct property damage annually.
• Nearly one-third (31%) of home electrical fires began with ignition of wire or cable insulation.
• Electrical distribution or lighting equipment ranked 1st in direct property damage, and 3rd among the major fire causes in the number of home fires, fourth in home fire deaths, and tied for third in home fire injuries.
• Wiring and related equipment accounted for 7% of all home fires and 9% of all home fire deaths.
• Cords or plugs were involved in only 1% of home fires but 7% of the deaths. Extension cords dominated the cord or plug category.

The Ridge VFD works to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards, the importance of electrical fire safety, and the safety of electrical workers, particularly in this time of year when lighted decorations are more prevalent. Provided are some electrical fire safety messages for your consideration.

For more electrical fire safety information, visit the NFPA at www.nfpa.org/electricalsafety