Electrical fires are easy to prevent if you take a few precautions. Follow these guidelines to stay safe:
Electrical fires are frequently caused by overloaded equipment and circuits. This can cause insulation to burn, create sparks and leave exposed wires. Do not overload electrical equipment by attempting to do heavier jobs than the equipment can handle.
Keep areas around electrical equipment clear of combustibles such as sawdust, paper, cardboard and flammable liquids.
Prevent oil and dirt buildup on electrical appliances which can cause electrical equipment to overheat and short-circuit. When buildup does occur, shut off electrical equipment and unplug its power supply. Use only clean, dry rags and brushes and follow manufacturer's instructions.
Shut off all electrical equipment that produces unusual sounds, unusual smells or sparks. Have the equipment checked by a qualified technician. Tag and remove hard-wired equipment from service so that it cannot be accidentally energized while it is being repaired or replaced.
Know locations of emergency exits and fire escapes and know the escape routes from your work area. Fire escape plans should be posted with exits clearly marked.
Know where the nearest fire extinguishers are and how to use them. Only Class C extinguishers are safe to use on energized electrical equipment.