Home electrical fires account for a lot of things. At least 500 deaths on average, 50,000 fires every year, more than 1500 injuries, and over 1.3 billion in property damage. For this reason, it is vital to have techniques to curb electrical fires and first know what causes them and how to prevent them. Once you know the dangers and what can cause an electrical fire on your property, you will learn how to avoid the electrical fire. Below are some of the most common causes of electrical fires and how to prevent them.
Worn out or outdated electrical wiring
Outdated wiring is mainly in old homes. For instance, those over 15 years old lack the wiring capacity to handle the amounts of electrical appliances in homes today, such as video players, computers, air conditioners, and microwaves. Because of the increased power load, the outdated wiring in the home cannot handle it. The disadvantage of older wiring is it heats up quickly and triggers a fire. Unfortunately, since electrical work is behind walls, it is hard to tell if you have old and unsafe wiring. But you can check through warning signs such as sparks from appliances, flickering lights, unexplained burning smells, and anything else that is unusual. To prevent this, contact a qualified Nashville electrician to replace your old wiring.
Old appliances that have loose wiring or frayed cords can catch fire. In such a case, it is best to purchase updated appliances to ensure safety. Moreover, due to the flammability of the old insulation in these appliances, repairing them to address the issue is not enough. Old appliances risk the possibility that they are not up to standard when it comes to wattage use, safety regulations, and material quality. Toasters, stoves, fridges, and other appliances in your kitchen area are at risk for starting electrical fires. Plus, using multiple appliances on one extension cord can trigger a fire. Such is the issue with appliances in correlation with fire. To prevent fire with this, pay attention to appliances and repair when they have issues.
Where do you place your space heaters in the wintertime? Be conscious of this and avoid leaving it for an extended period, especially when you leave the house or are sleeping. Common causes of fires with heaters are leaving it next to rugs, curtains, coaches, and beds. Radiator heaters are not as likely to ignite flammable items, for they diffuse heat over the entire surface of the appliance. But, still, keep them away from flammable items too. To prevent fire with portable heaters, use an up-to-date model that has all the modern safety features and position the heater away from anything flammable and areas of foot traffic.
Faulty electrical outlets
Did you know most electrical fires are from faulty electrical outlets or worn-out sockets with poor grounding? As switches and outlets get old, the wiring behind them wears out too. Wires with time loosen and could easily break and cause a fire. Worn-out appliances are a common cause of most electrical fires because they draw more power, and units with damaged and frayed cords risk igniting a fire. To prevent a fire, therefore, replace or repair any loose outlets once you notice them. You may need to replace the outlet or tighten the wire nuts to improve the connection. To do it correctly, call in an electrician for professional work.
Light fixtures, light bulbs, and lamps are another cause of electrical fires. When you install bulbs with high wattage, it can cause an electrical fire. Therefore, always check the maximum recommended wattage on any light fixture. Also, avoid placing materials like paper or cloth over a lampshade. When the material heats and ignites, it can cause a fire. Faulty light fixtures and lamps also result in fires. Thus ensure you follow the wattage guidelines for light bulbs are not one size fits all. Avoid going above the maximum wattage listed on the light fixtures. To prevent fires, ensure the light fixtures and light bulbs are plugged in electrical sockets matching the prescribed wattage and replace light fixtures that get hot excessively when lit.