In the United States, electrical fires in the home take more than 300 lives every year and leave more than a thousand people injured.

The most common causes of electrical fires are:

  • Faulty outlets or wiring
  • Incorrectly installed wiring
  • Overloaded circuits/extension cords

The Houston catastrophic injury attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers offer some safety tips for keeping you and your family safe from electrical fires.

  1. Check and recheck: Make it a habit to check your electrical appliances and wiring. Frayed, worn, old or damaged cords should be replaced immediately.
  2. Don’t overdo it: Extension cords are fine to use, as long as you use them wisely. Don’t overload extension cords OR wall sockets.
  3. Watch for shocking behavior: If you have tools or appliances that give off small electrical shocks, overheat or short out when in use, replace it right away.
  4. Safe playing: Kids should not be allowed to play with electrical appliances or outlets, including space heaters, hair dryers and irons.
  5. Be alarmed: Houston personal injury attorneys know that one of the best things you can do for your family’s safety is to install and keep fresh batteries in smoke detectors around the home.
  6. Have an escape route: As a family, you should have a plan in place for what to do in event of a fire. Make sure to practice the escape plan with your kids.

In addition to the injuries caused by electrical fires, the damage is tremendous. More than $1.1 billion in property losses are attributed to electrical fires every year. Winter months are the most dangerous because of increased electrical use in the home from lighting, heating and appliance use.