Electrical fires cause $1.5 billion in property damage annually. Not only that, but according to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2014, electrical fires accounted for nearly 24,000 residential fires. You want to feel assured that you and your family are safe in your home. You also want to be certain that there is little to no risk of a fire due to your home needing electrical wiring repairs or having faulty outlets or appliances. With something as serious as a fire posing a danger to your loved ones and prized possessions, finding a qualified electrician is the first thing you should do as the ultimate preventative measure. Here are the most common causes of electrical fires in the home.
- Overloaded or damaged extension cords
Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If multiple appliances are plugged in at once this creates an excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that much power. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire a qualified electrician to install new ones.
- Faulty Electrical Sockets and Unsafe Appliances
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord! As an added precaution ask your local electrician about installing ground fault circuit interrupters or use surge protectors that will guard the major appliances.
- Electrical Wiring Becomes Dangerous Over Time
As with most things, time causes aging. This is also true with electrical wiring. Over a period of time it is quite natural that you will add more electrical appliances to the home (televisions, microwave oven, home theater, air conditioning, etc). The website Fire Rescue warns that if a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and can even catch fire. If you have ever wondered when to call an electrician, this is that time. The electrician can detect and replace old wiring immediately as well take care of any other electrical wiring repairs that need attention. This preventative measure would help eliminate the threat of electrical fires for good in your home.
Hiring an expert who can conduct a proper electrical safety evaluation of your home will give you the peace of mind needed. They have the knowledge and expertise to check electrical wall outlets and even external power panels. It is not wise to attempt electrical wiring repairs on your own when a fire could be the possible outcome. Some other necessary preventative measures include installing smoke detector alarms and owning a fire extinguisher. Recognizing the common causes of electrical fires is only the beginning of fire prevention, so be sure to contact an electrician to take the necessary steps to fire proof your home.