Safety First: Electrical fires

Fire officials say electrical fires are the ones that cause the most fatalities. Lt. Anthony Mancuso says about two-thirds of major fires are electrical.

Lt. Anthony Mancuso says about two-thirds of major fires are electrical.

Lt. Anthony Mancuso says about two-thirds of major fires are electrical. (4/3/15)

NEW YORK - Fire officials say electrical fires are the ones that cause the most fatalities.

Lt. Anthony Mancuso says about two-thirds of major fires are electrical. He says the most common problem is that people do not know the right way to use plugs and electrical outlets in their homes.

Mancuso says heating items such as irons, hair straighteners and blow dryers should be plugged directly into a wall socket and not into an extension cord or power supply. He adds that overloaded electrical blocks are a huge "no."

The FDNY says space heaters cause the biggest and deadliest fires.

"I think 50 percent of our problem fires or big fires, or maybe even fire deaths, are space heaters," said Mancuso.

Many people use their household radiators to dry clothes and towels, which Mancuso says is OK. However, that should never be done with space heaters.

The lieutenant says you should also check to make sure the space heater has an automatic shut-off feature if it tips over or overheats.

It is important to make sure all electrical equipment and items have a UL seal of approval, which lets you know that they have been tested.

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