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

Shakespeare and sex jokes, Act II

How exactly did you think he became popular with the masses back in the time of the Plague?

Thank you for, Mount Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association supporters

Keep a lookout for future information during this fundraising phase.

An all-American Rockwell scene

I’m not a farmer — I suspect you already know that — but I live on three acres and, given the price of hay trucked from Yakima, there are farmers in the Krain area willing to cut and bale my field.

Freedom of religions doesn’t mean imposing your beliefs on the public

To then allow any person or group to inflict its particular religious beliefs upon others would clearly deny our right to freely worship and follow our own beliefs

Real life, like Risk, requires great self-discipline

My grandkids were fascinated and played with intensity. Two of them formed an alliance against me for a time to keep me from conquering the world. I, of course, took advantage of all the “teachable moments.”

Businesses should serve the public equally

Many a war has started over “deeply held beliefs’ and religious convictions.

Editor failed to be a fair moderator

Instead of framing the issues and allowing the readers to “form their own opinions on the matters at hand,” the editor chose to apply superfluous labels.

“Deeply held beliefs” no excuse for discrimination

Is it not time that we recognize that “deeply held beliefs,” sometimes are simply wrong?

Perception becomes reality, both nationally and individually

China’s problems can teach us all a lesson about the need for humility.

Most Read