Electrical malfunctions account for about 51,000 residential fires each year, so being able to prevent these fires and protect your family is of the utmost importance. Understanding the risks and causes of electrical fires is the best way to protect your home.
Common Causes of Electrical Fires
Outdated or Worn Out Electrical Wiring
Although filled with character, houses built more than 30 years ago most likely have outdated wiring—a leading cause of house fires. Outdated wiring doesn’t have the capacity to meet the demands of modern technology and energy consumption, so this may mean you experience frequent circuit breaker overloads, power outages, or other signs of bad wiring.
The best prevention measure for outdated wiring is to hire a qualified electrician to inspect your home’s panel, wiring, outlets, and electrical circuits.
Faulty Electrical Outlets
Faulty outlets are more likely to spark and catch on fire. Even grounded outlets can start a fire if the wiring behind them loosens.
Inspecting outlets and switches regularly and looking for signs of wear, soot around the sockets or switches, and loose wires can help prevent electrical fires from faulty outlets. For serious electrical repairs or outlet upgrades, call a licensed electrician.
Electrical Circuit Overload
Overloading the circuit by plugging too many cords into a single power source will wear out the system and could result in a fire. Avoid using a single extension cord to power multiple appliances and electronics at once.
Try using multiple outlets and ensuring your appliances have a dedicated circuit instead of relying on extension cords. If you don’t have enough outlets or dedicated circuits in your home, an electrician can install more.
Older appliances are not up to modern standards when it comes to materials, construction, and safety regulations. Furthermore, outdated appliances are more likely to have frayed cords or loose wiring.
Inspect appliances for signs of electrical damage and replace faulty appliances with new models that follow current safety standards.
Electrical Fire Prevention Tips
Even with the above safety tips and precautions, it’s not always possible to prevent electrical fires. Here are some tips from an electrician on how you can stay as safe as possible:
- Make sure your electrical system is up to code and safe for use. This may involve updating an old electrical panel, replacing old wiring, and more.
- Never use electronics with frayed, broken, or crimped wires as they could spark and ignite.
- Install working smoke detectors throughout your home and test and replace the batteries frequently.
- Invest in a fire extinguisher. Water doesn’t work on electrical fires – and it could make the situation much worse.
Protect your family with the prevention measures above and expertise of Harder Electrical & Mechanical.
About Harder Electrical & Mechanical
Founded in 2003, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services provides residential and commercial heating, cooling, and electrical services. We have proudly served the Albuquerque, Tijeras, Edgewood, and Moriarty areas for over 15 years. Locally owned and operated, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services is open five days a week and on-call Saturdays.
Harder Electrical & Mechanical was founded with the philosophy of providing quality services for a fair price. With extensive training in electrical, mechanical, and refrigeration, Harder Electrical & Mechanical not only stands behind the work we do – we guarantee it.
Our experienced technicians provide residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air conditioning services. We can repair, replace, and install all brands of equipment, and we provide a 1-year warranty on labor along with any manufacturers’ product warranty.
Harder Electrical & Mechanical is your one-stop-shop for all your electrical, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 505-281-4807 for a free estimate.