According to the NFPA:

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage. Below are some useful tips to help reduce the risk of fire damage and injury.

- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.

- Avoid using extension cords for extended periods of time, or running them underneath carpets or across hallways.

- Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.

- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

- Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.

- If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.

- Make sure you use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) near any source of water.

- ALWAYS use a qualified electrical contractor for all electrical work.

As electrical contractors, we have seen countless cases of a DIY electrical job gone wrong. Often, in an attempt to save money, businesses will hire an unqualified electrician to perform “simple” jobs. There are no simple jobs when it comes to electrical work! These jobs often turn into costly repairs that could have been avoided by using a qualified electrical contractor from the beginning.