Electrical Fire Safety


Whether you are flipping a light switch, plugging in a coffeemaker, or charging a laptop computer, electrical appliances and devices make our lives easier. Electricity is safe to have in the home if it is treated with respect. The Tyngsborough Fire Department wants you to know the basics of electrical safety.

There are simple things you can do to make your home safe from an electrical fire. Make sure arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are used in the panel to shut off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home by a qualified electrician. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. They should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements. All outdoor receptacles also should be GFCI protected.

Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use only. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords.Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. There should be a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb to use.

Don’t overload extension cords. Use them for temporary purposes only. Replace worn, old, or damaged extension cords right away.

Action Steps You Can Take:
  • Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
  • When you are buying or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) into an outlet at a time.
  • Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall outlet, preferably on a dedicated circuit.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock.
Call A Licensed Electrician For:
  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet

*Source US Fire Administration