The Risk of a Home Electrical Fire is a Real Problem

Is your home a fire hazard?

Excessive extension on power outlet

Home electrical fires are widespread across the United States. Faulty electrical systems cause many fires.

Even more electrical fires result from inappropriate wiring installations, overloaded circuits, and extension cords.

Residential electrical fires result in more than double the property damage and 70% higher death rates than nonelectrical fires.

Here’s more eye-opening statistics:

  • Every year, more than a half million winter residential fires cause $3 billion in property loss, 1,900 deaths and nearly 8,000 injuries.
  • Electrical malfunction is the leading cause of non-confined winter residential fires.
  • An alarming 37% of all home fires occur during the winter months, more than any other time of year and nearly 40% of residential fire-related injuries occur during January, February and March.
  • Smoke alarms in over 26% of non-confined residential fires either failed to operate properly or were not present in the home.

Residential Electrician - Sternberg Electric - Forest Lake, MN - Man with flashlight at residential circuit breaker panel

There are over three times more residential electrical fires than there are nonresidential electrical fires … so this problem is particularly important for each of us as homeowners.

As homeowners, we put more and more demand on our electrical system.

We replace aging appliances with newer, advanced technology.

We introduce new appliances, devices, and gadgets into our homes.

We increase our use of electrical energy in many other ways over time.

While doing so, many homeowners are unaware of the electrical hazards in their homes. From wiring inside the walls that is overheating, to high-wattage light bulbs that exceed their fixture ratings, to the improper and dangerous use of extension cords, to overloaded circuits.

We don’t realize we’re in danger – until a fire starts.


Protect your home and your family with Electrical Safety Devices

Electrician - Sternberg Electric - Minneapolis, MN - Home Electrical Safety - Light bulb in socketMost home electrical fires are preventable. Like anything else, wiring and electrical components wear out.

Though it’s easy to take electricity for granted as we depend on it in our daily lives, it is powerful and dangerous and must be used safely.

It’s important to learn about your home electrical system in order to maintain it as safely as possible.

Sternberg Electric offers the following resources:

  • Tour your home looking for and correcting potential hazards.
  • Hire a licensed electrician to install Electrical Safety Devices such as:
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) – Protects you and your home from a fire caused by electrical arcs.
  • Smoke Detectors – Warns you of fire. Ionization Detectors are more sensitive to flaming fires. Photoelectric detectors are more sensitive to smoldering fires. It is recommended that both types be installed in specific locations inside your home.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Warns you when CO2 levels become dangerously high. This deadly, colorless, odorless gas kills hundreds of unsuspecting homeowners every year.
  • Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs) – Protects you from electrical shock and electrocution. They’re not just for bathrooms anymore.
  • Whole House Surge Protection – A small spike or surge in electrical current can result in big consequences. Most people think of lightning, and while it is the most dangerous, it is not the most common.
  • Appliances that cycle on and off throughout the day, every day, are your most frequent culprits.

It’s worth repeating that most home electrical fires can be prevented. Learn about potential electrical hazards and rectifying any problems. Prevent disaster from happening to you.

Sources: Our experience and the U.S. Fire Administration

Helpful Links:
Electrical Safety Tips


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