Posted on 04/04/2023 in Electric & Electronic Fire Safety 2023
Electrical failure or malfunction causes fires

Homes fires related to electrical failure or malfunction kill 390 people, injure 1 300 and cost 1.5 bn US$ yearly in the USA. The NFPA (US National Fire Protection Association) report assessing 2015-2019 data concludes that electrical problems caused 13% of US home structure fires and 21% of property damage costs. Nearly half of these fires were related to electrical distribution, lighting and power transfer equipment (see pinfa Newsletter n°146), and nearly one quarter to cooking and heating equipment, the remainder to fans, air conditioners and other domestic appliances. Around 2/3 of the fires were caused by arcing and around one fifth by heat or sparks from the electrical equipment (remainder: other). Wires or cables were the first identified item to catch fire in one third of cases, and appliance casings or housings in around one tenth. The US Fire Administration has published somewhat lower figures, estimating 23 400 fires per year (2011-2020), leading to 200 deaths, 975 injuries and 1.4 bn US$ losses. The Administration indicates that the number of electrical-caused fires has increased by +2% over the ten years, and dollar losses by +18%

“Home Fires Caused by Electrical Failure or Malfunction”, R. Campbell, NFPA, Nov. 2021 LINK.

“Residential Building Electrical Malfunction Fire Trends (2011‑2020)”, US Fire Administration

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