Electrical fire safety | Washington State Fire Marshal

Electrical fires in homes account for over 26,000 residential fires annually, resulting in 280 deaths and over $1 billion in property loss in the United States.

Electrical fires in homes account for over 26,000 residential fires annually, resulting in 280 deaths and over $1 billion in property loss in the United States.

“Traditionally, we see more electrical fires occur in Washington State during the winter months,” says State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy. “Loss of life and property resulting from electrical fires can be avoidable if you exercise a few simple steps.” He suggests the following guidelines to help ensure that you and your family are safe from shock hazards and electrical fires this winter:

Safety Tips

• Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring. Replace any worn or damaged appliance cords immediately. Do not try to repair them.

• Buy only appliances that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

  • Appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord. If you must use an extension cord, use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection and have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Replace any electrical device if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture, under rugs and carpets, or across doorways.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use only. Have a qualified electrician determine if additional circuits or wall outlets are needed.
  • Electrical work should be done only by a qualified electrician. Call an electrician if you have any of the following:

    • Recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
    • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
    • Discolored or warm wall outlets or switches
    • A burning smell or rubbery odor coming from an appliance
    • Flickering lights
    • Sparks from a wall outlet
    • Cracked or broken wall outlets

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. Remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

More in Opinion

Teachers seeking pay raise; districts resist

They’re talking 15 percent for all certificated staff and 37 percent for the classified education support professionals they represent.

Thank you for the fun holiday contests

And I would also like to thank Olsens Meats for supplying the corned beef and ham for the winners.

Election tampering anger could unite county’s voters

Having a common enemy is an effective means to cover over differences between political ideologies and unite the nation against a common foe.

Thanks for an awesome bingo night

Byron Kibler PTA would like to thank the following local businesses (in… Continue reading

Thank you, Enumclaw Schools Foundation

With the grant we were awarded we were able to purchase books for 20 students.

Voting for Trump not “a mistake”

Trump had 81 signed legislative accomplishments in his first year, breaking the record set by President Harry S. Truman.

NRA is not the root of the violence problem

How about writing a column addressing that question instead of just finger pointing?

Save the Enumclaw pool

I believe by knowing the pool’s benefits, a vast majority of greater Enumclaw would still support the now Enumclaw Aquatic Center.

Plan with the end in mind

That foresight into the future was a real advantage to me when raising my own children.

Most Read