Electrical Home Safety Tips


Home electrical safety is something many of us take for granted. The TotalProtect® Home Warranty team urges every homeowner to remember that electricity is a powerful and potentially dangerous force.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Home Electrical Fires Report states that electrical failures or malfunctions were contributing factors in more than 46,000 home fires reported to U.S. fire departments during 2010, causing 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.5 billion in property damage. About half stemmed from wiring, outlets and receptacles, branch circuit wiring, extension cords and fuse or circuit breaker panels. One-third of these deadliest fires started in living rooms, family rooms or dens.

Home electrical safety starts with alert observation. The TotalProtect Home Warranty technicians advise you to keep a lookout for any small signs that something may be amiss.

Below are a few of the Top Home Electrical Safety Guidelines published By the NFPA:

  • Use tamper-resistant electrical receptacles if any children live in your home or visit regularly.
  • Immediately replace any cracked or damaged electrical cords.
  • Be extra careful with high-wattage or heat-generating appliances like toasters, space heaters and coffee makers. Only one appliance should be used per outlet: no extension cords.
  • Treat extension cords as temporary solutions only: do not use them for extended periods.
  • Do not attach cords against walls or run them under carpets and furnishings.
  • Never place cloth over bulbs to soften light. Go with a lower wattage or pastel-colored bulb.
  • Never exceed the manufacturer's recommended light bulb wattage on any fixture.

Always call a licensed electrician When:

  • You feel a receptacle or faceplate that is warm to the touch.
  • You experience fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip regularly.
  • You get a tingly sensation after touching an electrical appliance.
  • You smell a burning or rubbery odor from an appliance.
  • You see lights flicker or dim.
  • You see sparks from an outlet or discoloration on outlet plates.

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) strongly cautions inexperienced do-it-yourselfers to refrain from projects involving electrical work. However, if you decide to do your own electrical work, ESFI urges you to adhere to these safety essentials:

  • Switch off the circuit breaker in the main service panel before working on any circuit.
  • Unplug any device or appliance before you begin work.
  • Test wires before touching them to make sure the power is off.
  • Never touch gas pipes or plumbing during any electrical project.
  • Never attempt anything beyond your skill level: you could be risking fire, injury or death.

Rely on TotalProtect Home Warranty Electricians to Repair Problems Safely and Correctly

As a TotalProtect Home Warranty customer, you always know that licensed, certified and pre-screened electricians who have met our rigorous network standards are just one reassuring call away. These professionals will diagnose and repair your home electrical wiring and system problems with safe, quality work that is guaranteed and meets your local codes.


The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.

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