Many household fires, explosions, and injuries are the result of electrical energy.
The most common cause of an electrical fire is plugging too many appliances into the same outlet by using double and triple plugs and extension cords. Appliances that generate heat - toasters, hairdryers, irons, space heaters - should not be "ganged" on one outlet or circuit. If you need more outlets, have a professional electrician rewire your home. Otherwise, use appliances sharing a common outlet one at a time.
Do not use an extension cord for a major appliance or one that generates heat. Check electric blankets and space heaters for worn cords, loose elements or evidence of overheating. Make needed repairs or replace the unit. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.
Label the circuits on your home circuit breaker or fuse box. When you have to reset a circuit breaker or replace a fuse, try to determine if the problem was due to overload from too many appliances on one circuit. Check for damaged or overheated cords, scorch marks or failing elements to see if there is an electrical short in an appliance. Correct the problem. Never replace a fuse or breaker with one of higher amperage. Never place a penny or foil behind a fuse and never use water on an electrical fire.
When pipes freeze and break or if you have water leaks from ice dams, turn off appliances in the wet areas - but be careful about touching appliances that may be in standing water!