Common Causes Of Electrical Fires Everyone Should Understand

With over 50,000 electrical fires each year, homeowners need to understand what causes these disasters so that they can be avoided. Unfortunately, many of these potential hazards could exist in your home. And unless you take measures to correct them, your loved ones and home could be at risk. Electrical fires all begin from a single spark or excessive heat. But all or almost all of them can be avoided with a bit of added care and attention to detail.

The Common Causes Of Electrical Fires

Old Or Outdated Wiring- Homes built more than 20 years ago have outdated wiring unless they have been completely rewired. And that old wiring is the primary cause of residential electrical fires. The wiring used in homes just two decades ago was not intended to meet the needs of our electronic-laden homes of today. If you wonder how old the wiring in your home is, look at the outlets in your house. If they are two-prong outlets or you only have one or two outlets per room, chances are the wiring is ancient.

Faulty Outlets- Ungrounded outlets are more likely to spark and start a fire than a grounded outlet. However, even a grounded outlet can spark and start a fire if the wiring behind the faceplate is loose. Therefore, inspecting all of your home’s outlets regularly is essential. Look for cracks on the faceplate, scorch marks or places that appear to have melted, or outlets that are very loose and do not hold a plug correctly. Also, listen for crackling sounds near the outlets and feel for any heat. All of these are signs of a significant electrical problem that needs immediate attention.

Electrical Circuit Overloads- If you are using power strips to have enough outlet space, you are sure to be overloading the old wiring in your home and at risk for an electrical fire. The increased electrical demand from multiple devices plugged into a power strip will overheat the wiring, melt the insulation, and start an electrical fire. Professional installation of more outlets is the only safe solution to prevent overloads that could damage your electronic devices or start an electrical fire.

Old Appliances- Even if you love the vintage look of that old toaster or retro fridge, they could be placing your loved ones and home at risk. Old appliances do not have the safety features and modern wiring to meet today’s safety code. Discard any appliances that are using cords covered in fabric or that feel warm to the touch. These are extremely dangerous.

Light Fixtures- All light fixtures are labeled with the appropriate size for the light bulb it should be using. Unfortunately, many homeowners will buy a fixture for its appearance rather than its capability. Then they install a bulb with too high a wattage for the fixture. The result is excessive heat and a substantially increased potential for a fire.

Space Heaters- Electric space heaters are famous for starting fires when placed too close to flammable materials like a sofa, curtains, or carpet. Only place space heaters on stable, flat surfaces. Also, be sure that the space heater is a safe distance from any flammable items and never leave them unattended.

If any of these common causes of electrical fires are present in your home, call (877) 577- 2759 for immediate assistance. The licensed electricians at Reliable Electrical Services will evaluate the problem and provide you with free price quotes for viable and safe solutions. We will work with you to eliminate electrical hazards and remain within your budget. And all of our work comes with a full warranty.