Experts say people can protect their homes in several ways:
Have older homes inspected yearly by a qualified inspector or electrician, and fix problems immediately.
Don't overload electrical circuits by plugging in too many appliances.
Avoid attaching a two-prong adapter to a three-prong plug, and inserting it into an outlet that's not grounded.
Watch for loose, unattached wires hanging from the ceiling or suspended from the walls. Such wires indicate shoddy workmanship.
Conduct self-tests, such as resetting circuit breakers, to make sure they'll function properly.
Install "firestops," or wooden beams or platform frames, inside balloon-frame walls to impede the progress of a fire.
Ensure access to fire escapes through a window.
Know your electrical circuit. Know which outlets and products are connected to each circuit.
Immediately disconnect any electrical product if problems develop and have it examined by a competent professional.
Follow manufacturer's instructions on what types of electrical connections are needed for all electrical appliances.
Source: The Record: Homeowners can act to prevent electrical fires