Consumer Tips

Electrical Fire Prevention

Safety Tips to Avoid Electrical Fires in the Home

Electric League of Arizona (ELA) is joining the cause this October for National Fire Prevention Month. Although one month is dedicated to fire safety, we can think safety and monitor our home's electrical system all year round to prevent electrical fires. According to the National Fire Administration, faulty electrical equipment is the third leading cause of house fires and estimates over $1 billion worth of property damage was a result of electrical failures from 2007-2011. Following these safety tips to avoid electrical fires as well as hiring a licensed electrician to perform electrical inspections will ensure a safe home.

Smoke Detectors Maintenance Tips
  • Check smoke detectors monthly. Test batteries and the smoke detection device.
  • Follow manufacturer's specifications for smoke detectors maintenance.
  • Replace all smoke detectors every ten years.
  • Units that are hardwired into the electrical system are highly recommended as they will all signal together if one unit detects a fire in any part of the house. A licensed electrician can install or check hardwired smoke detection systems.

Safety Tips for Using Electrical Outlets & Extension Cords
  • Extension cords should only be used temporarily to provide electricity to any area of the house.
  • Electrical outlets have a fixed amount of electricity to that source. Adding extension cords or power strips will not draw more electricity to the outlet. This is how an outlet can become dangerously overloaded.
  • Never use cords with frayed, exposed wires. Check all power cords for damage before use.
  • It's recommended to hire a licensed electrician to install additional electrical outlets to high demand areas of the home as a long term solution.
  • Stop use of outlets that feel hot to the touch or spark frequently and contact a licensed electrician right away to check the outlet.

Electrical Panel & Safety Inspections Recommended

The Arizona Electric Council recommends regular electrical maintenance including an annual Electrical Panel Inspection and a five year Whole Home Electrical Safety Inspection, completed by a licensed expert electrician. It is also highly suggested that new homeowners have a whole home electrical safety inspection completed prior to moving, preferably before signing their contract to buy the home. These thorough inspections ensure the main electrical components of the home are working properly such as the electrical panel box and that unseen dangers such as faulty wiring behind walls and ceilings is found and fixed.

The Arizona Electric Council is a consumer council under the trade association, ELA. Since 1960, the ELA has fulfilled their mission of "promoting the efficient use of electrical energy products and related services." They are committed to the sustainability of their community, so Arizona can continue to prosper for decades to come. In 1991, the Arizona Electric Council referral program was launched to help customers take the guess work out of choosing a trustworthy electrical contractor.

Call 800-368-PROS for a trusted electrician to perform a home electrical inspection today.