I have just being listening to the radio on which a story was recounted about a person whose house was burnt down by a fire started by loose connections in an electric socket outlet. This just shows how electricity can be our enemy if we don't look out for warning signs, and maintain the wiring in our homes.
So what can you do to prevent fires?
Don't overload sockets.
Ensure you wiring is up to standard and circuit breakers or fuses are properly rated for each circuit. Don't replace a fuse with a higher rated type.
If a plug becomes hot, this is a symptom of a loose electrical connection. It is normal for power cords which supply a high powered appliance such as a heater or tumble drier to become warm, and plugs which have an integrated fuse (standard in the UK and other countries) can become warm also. It is not normal for a plug or socket outlet to get hot. This is either caused by the screws which hold the wires in the terminals of the socket or plug becoming loose, or alternatively the brass strips in the socket which grip the pins of the plug may not be doing so adequately. Either scenario will result in arcing and potentially this can start a fire if sparks are produced, or the insulation on power cables catches fire. Sometimes arcing can produce clicking noises, or a burning smell can be detected, but not always. Don't leave high powered devices switched on when no one is at home or you are in bed.
For further information on this and a comprehensive guide to avoiding fires in the home, check out my article on HubPages: http://eugbug.hubpages.com/hub/Common-Sense-Fire-Safety-in-the-Home
Image courtesy PACAF http://www.15wing.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123143636