The Scary Truth About Electrical Fires

Few things in life are more frightening than the thought of an electrical fire in your home. You can imagine a tiny spark inside a wall that smolders and then ignites the wood framing your wall. And from there, the fire consumes everything in its reach and fills your home with toxic smoke. Even worse, all of this could happen you and your family are fast asleep. Your only hope is that the smoke detectors work quickly enough for everyone to evacuate safely.

Electrical fires account for over 50,000 residential fires each year. And even more disturbing is that most, if not all of these tragedies could have been avoided if homeowners knew about the most common causes of electrical fires.

Outdated Or Worn-Out Electrical Wiring

If your home is over 20 years old, the chances are good that you have outdated electrical wiring. Sadly, this is the leading cause of electrical fires. As our electronics and electrical devices have increased, we have increased the demand for power in our homes. But what has not increased is the wiring capacity throughout homes built 20 years ago or more. Instead, your electrical wiring is overloaded day after day after day. And eventually, that added current and heat results in a spark and electrical fire.

Faulty Electrical Outlets

Ungrounded outlets are far more likely to spark and start a fire. And even if you think that all of your home’s outlets are grounded, you have no way of knowing if any of these ground wires have become loose or damaged. The best way to prevent a fire from starting at an electrical outlet is regular inspections by a licensed electrician. It is also helpful to install GFCI outlets that will trip to prevent a fire if there is a short circuit.

Electrical Circuit Overload

The electrical system in your home was carefully designed by a professional. And that included selecting an appropriate number of outlets for each circuit. When you decide to use several extension cords or power strips to plug in additional devices like phone chargers, appliances, home automation devices, and lighting, you are overloading the electrical circuit. And soon, the result could be a life-threatening fire.

Old Appliances

You might have some great older appliances that still function perfectly. But in almost every case, they are not built to the modern safety standards and regulations. Old toasters, toaster ovens, hairdryers, and space heaters are responsible for countless electrical fires. Use these older appliances with caution and stop using them if there is an odd odor, they feel hot, or the cord becomes frayed.

Old Light Fixtures

Older light fixtures were not designed to work with higher wattage bulbs. And even some new fixtures have specific lightbulb wattage restrictions. Be sure that the lightbulb you are placing in a fixture is within the fixture’s safe operating parameters. If the bulb exceeds the fixture’s wattage, either replace the fixture or get a lower wattage bulb to reduce the potential for an electrical fire.

Ensuring The Safety Of Your Home

Being proactive is the best way to avoid a tragic electrical fire in your home. Never continue to use appliances with damaged cords. Pay attention to your electrical outlets’ condition and call in a professional at the first indication of damage. And call (877) 577- 2759 for regular electrical system inspections from the licensed electricians at Reliable Electrical Services. Our team has decades of experience ensuring that our neighbor’s homes meet all electrical codes and have the safety features that we use to protect our own homes.