Your Home Electrical System

Home electrical problems account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, resulting in almost 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage. Electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires. 

 The good news is that many home electrical fires can be prevented if you are able to recognize the warning signs your home may be showing. The most important step you can take is to learn about your home’s electrical system. Once you are familiar with your system and how it works, you will be better able to identify potential hazards. 

The following are some things you should know about your home’s electrical system:
  • How much energy does my home use?
  • What’s inside my service panel?
  • What kind of wiring system is in my home?
  • Does my home have grounded outlets?
  • What is a Tamper-Resistant Receptacle?
  • What is a GFCI?
The Electrical Safety Workbook provides an introduction to the basic home electrical system, as well as information to help you answer the above questions about your home.
Know the Dangers in Your Older Home
Many of these home fires occur in aging homes. Our dependence on electricity is increasing every day, and we are expecting more out of our home’s electrical system. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home in the U.S. is 37 years old. These homes were built before many of the electronics and appliance we use today were even invented. Unfortunately, our increased demand for energy can overburden an older home’s electrical system, resulting in fires or electrocutions.
By educating yourself on the dangers commonly found in older homes you can take an active roll in protecting yourself. ESFI’s Know the Dangers in Your Older Home booklet provides you with a simple and easy checklist that can help you identify electrical hazards in your home. It also introduces new, safer technologies that can protect your family from injury and your home from fire.