All wiring systems have circuit breakers or fuses that disconnect power when circuits become overloaded. This is a safety feature to prevent overheating. When a fuse or circuit breaker trips, find the cause and correct it. Never use oversized fuses, foil wrap a fuse, or substitute a fuse with a penny. This will cancel the safety device designed to prevent overheating and cause a fire. If an electrical outlet is hot to the touch, unplug all appliances and have the wiring inspected by a certified electrician as soon as possible.
- Two-thirds of all electrical fires begin in plugs or cords on appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, irons, microwave ovens, dishwashers, or lamps. Avoid plugging them into the same outlet or circuit.
- Frayed cords expose the electrical wiring that can spark on contact with each other or anything that can ground the electrical current.
- Forty-one percent of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
- Fifty-three percent of home electrical fires involved other known types of equipment—including ranges, washer/dryers, fans, and space heaters.
- Some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as factor contributing to ignition for 72% of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires.