Electrical fires include any fire that starts as the result of an electrical failure or malfunction. According to the NFPA, more than 45,000 home structure fires ignite every year due to an electrical failure or malfunction, causing more than $1.4 billion in property damage and accounting for more than 400 deaths and 1,300 injuries. The most common types of equipment to malfunction and start a fire are fans, washers and dryers, space heaters, and air-conditioning units. Most malfunctions that result in deaths are related to wiring, cords and plugs.
How Fire Burns
Fire requires three elements to both ignite and continue burning:
Heat: Common heat sources include a hot stovetop burner, a spark from a worn electrical wire or a burning cigarette.
Fuel: Just about everything in your home can fuel a fire. As a fire burns, the heat created warms nearby items, making it easier for them to start burning.
Oxygen: The oxygen in the air around us fuels a fire.
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