|Home Fire Safety|
Test your skill with this quick quiz.
How many people die in home fires in the United States
A standard electrical outlet could safely handle which
combination of the following items:
Most electrical fires in the home begin in the structure's
internal wiring system.
A battery-operated smoke detector will alert the household
to danger only if you:
Answers to quiz: 1-c; 2-c; 3-False; 4-d
Pm-1265a | Reprint | September 1994
Reduce fires with electrical safety
Fires are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States today. According to the National Safety Council, 4,000 people died in fires in 1992. During that year, 478,000 residential fires resulted in $5.6 billion property damage. The toll continues to grow every year, even with increased use of 911 emergency response systems.
More than three out of four reported fires occur in the home. Fires are likely to be more severe in rural areas because of the response time and limited equipment available to outlying fire departments.People cause fires
electrical outlets Never overload
electrical outlets and circuits. Overloaded electrical outlets,
or circuits that supply power to several outlets, is a major
cause of residential fires. Overloaded outlets and circuits
carry too much electricity, which generates heat in undetectable
amounts. The heat causes wear on the internal wiring system
and can ignite a fire.
All wiring systems have circuit breakers or fuses that disconnect power when circuits become overloaded. However, an improperly sized fuse or breaker can cancel this built-in safety feature.
To prevent overloading, never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once or "piggyback" extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets. Use only outlets designed to handle multiple plugs.
Give special consideration to appliances that use 1,000 or more watts, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, hot plates, irons, microwave ovens, dishwashers, heaters, and deep fryers. Avoid plugging them into the same outlet or circuit. To use these appliances safely, know which outlets are connected to the same electrical circuit in your home. Do not exceed 1,500 watts for each outlet or circuit. Wattage requirements are listed in appliance manufacturer's instructions. Begin a habit of regularly checking electrical cords and outlets. Fires that begin in these areas are difficult to detect, yet easy to prevent.
warning by a smoke alarm is effective only when accompanied
by a prepared emergency exit plan. Emergency exit plans let
you rely on automatic responses during an actual emergency.
It's a good idea to develop your own Operation EDITH, Exit Drills in The Home. A good plan is known by all members of a household and includes an outside meeting location away from danger of the fire. It also will include more than one way to get out of each area of the home. Stage Operation EDITH practice drills periodically, then discuss the plan with family members.
Safe use of electrical appliances and outlets, a working smoke alarm, and a good family emergency exit plan may be all that's needed to protect you and your family from the dangers of fire.
Publication #: Pm-1265a
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More