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Consumers Can Prevent Home Electrical Fires

Release Date: May 01, 1990

Many of the nation's 160,000 electrical home fires each year could be prevented if consumers took time to correct commonplace electrical hazards around the house.

Noting that May marks the seventh annual observance of National Electrical Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said the annual toll includes some 900 deaths, an estimated 6,200 injuries, and property losses of some $935 million. In addition, some 300 Americans are electrocuted in or around their homes each year while an estimated 9,100 consumers require hospital emergency room treatment for electric shock or electrical burn injuries.

Most fires associated with electric products in the home involved electric ranges and ovens, CPSC said, followed by household wiring, clothes dryers, appliance and extension cords, light fixtures, receptacle outlets, central and fixed heating equipment, and portable electrical heaters.

Electrical products most often contributing to deaths in home fires were household wiring, appliance and extension cords, ranges and ovens, and portable electric heaters. Electrocutions most often were associated with wiring, power tools, metal ladders and antennas contacting power lines, and large appliances.

Examining ways of preventing residential fires, CPSC has developed a 12-page, room-by-room checklist to help consumers identify and correct electrical hazards around the house.

Homeowners may obtain a free copy of the home electrical checklist in English or Spanish by sending a postcard to Electrical Safety, Washington, D.C., 20207. The Commission also offers a slow-play disc of the checklist for blind consumers.

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

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Spanish: (301) 504-7800

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