Electrical Fire Safety


  • Purchase appliances that have been tested by an independent testing lab.
  • Keep heat-producing appliances, irons, space heaters, etc., at least 3 ft. away from anything that can burn.
  • Unplug toasters, coffee makers, etc., when not in use.
  • Allow adequate air space around electronic components to prevent overheating.
  • Use detachable appliance cords for deep-fat fryers, popcorn makers, etc., that are rated for the appliances' load requirements (amperage).
  • Unplug the cords when not attached to an appliance.

Electrical Outlets

  • Modern electrical outlets accept three-pronged plugs polarized, with one prong wider than the other.
    When old, ungrounded receptacles are replaced, have a qualified electrician upgrade the wiring system to accept grounded receptacles.
    The new outlets are grounded to prevent shocks.

  • Make sure your plugs match your outlets by upgrading the outlets, not by altering the plugs.
    Never clip off the round grounding prong or file down the wide polarized prong.
  • If you have little kids in your home, install plastic safety covers in unused outlets.

Electric Warning Signs

Spot electrical problems before they cause a fire or shock.
Be alert to the following danger signs:

  • Recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
  • Feeling a tingle when you touch an electrical appliance.
  • Discoloration of outlet covers.
  • A burning smell or other unusual odor coming from an appliance or wiring.
  • Flickering lights.
    If you cannot locate a problem inside your home, call your power company or an electrician immediately to inspect electrical connections to your home and at your electric meter.

Fuses & Circuit Breakers

  • If a fuse blows, don't just replace it.
    Find out what caused the circuit to overload and correct the problem.

  • Never replace a fuse with one that exceeds the amperage rating for a given circuit.
  • Avoid using several high-amperage appliances on the same circuit.
  • Never replace a fuse with a penny or any other material that conducts electricity.
  • Determine the cause of an overload before resetting a circuit breaker.

Electric Cord

  • Use cords within their marked rating — don't overload.
  • Replace cracked/frayed electrical cords.
  • Keep cords out of traffic areas and away from where children play.
  • Don't pinch cords against walls or furniture or run them under carpets or across doorways.
  • Use cords that are listed by an independent testing laboratory.


  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn.
  • Use bulbs that match the lamps recommended wattage.
  • Use shades that will protect the bulb from breaking if the lamp is knocked over.

Outdoor Power

  • Use only weatherproof fixtures and outlets for outdoor installations.
  • Never run indoor extension cords across lawns for seasonal lighting displays or any extension cord across driveways or traffic areas.
  • Never use electrical appliances outdoors in wet weather or when the ground or grass is wet, unless the appliance is specifically designed and labeled by a testing laboratory for such usage.
  • Appliances used outdoors should be plugged into receptacles protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  • Outdoor electrical fixtures such as porch lights should be weather proof; use GFCI protected electrical receptacle outlets with weatherproof covers.

For questions about fire safety contact one of our Fire Prevention Inspectors at 574-3731