Electrical fires are a genuine danger. Wiring, appliances, and outlets that are incorrectly installed might be fatal. If precautions are not in place, even a single lamp might cause a house fire.
An estimated 51,000 residential fires occur each year, resulting in 500 fatalities, over 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in total damage.
Electrical systems and appliances are unfortunately one of the most common causes of house fires, as well as one of the most expensive.
Many fires occur due to overloaded electrical outlets or extension cables, and others are caused by wiring flaws or appliance malfunction. It’s critical to understand the causes of electrical fires to learn how to avoid them.
Risks to consider
We’ll look at some of the most prevalent causes of electrical fires and how to avoid them in this article. Let list down some of them:
- Common electrical outlets
- Outdated electrical wiring
- Old appliances
- Light fixtures
- Electrical circuit overload
1. Common electrical outlets
Faulty electrical outlets (Connecters) or worn-out, incorrectly grounded sockets cause the majority of electrical fires.
The wiring under outlets and switches deteriorates as they age. Wires stretch that loosen over time and could potentially break and create a fire.
As worn-out appliances demand a lot of power, they’re a common source of electrical fires. However, those with frayed or damaged cords are more likely to start a fire.
2. Outdated electrical wiring
Electrical fires occur due to outdated electrical wiring. A home older than 20 years, may not have sufficient wiring capacity. In contrast to the growing number of electrical appliances in today’s typical home.
Such as desktops, televisions, refrigerators, and air conditioners. The additional power load is too much for the old home wiring to sustain. Overheating and fire are common problems with older wiring.
The majority of electrical work is done behind your home’s walls. Therefore, it can be difficult to identify if you have old and insecure wiring. However, keep in mind that electrical issues are a big fire hazard.
3. Old appliances
Old appliances with frayed cables, poor connections, or leaks might catch fire. A simple electrical repair may not be sufficient due to the high flammability of the outdated insulation utilized in these products.
When it comes to power usage and safety standards, having older appliances increases the danger of them not being up to par. All of the appliances in your kitchen, including stoves and refrigerators, are at risk of causing fires.
Another concern with appliances and their connection to fire occurs when many appliances hook into extension cables. Or power strips that can not sustain the high energy demands of appliances.
4. Light fixtures
Electrical fires are also caused by light fixtures, lamps, and light bulbs. A common cause of electrical fires is using a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures.
Before utilizing any lighting fixture or lamp, be sure the maximum recommended bulb wattage does not exceed.
Placing things such as cloth or paper over a lampshade can also start a fire. Warming the chemical causes it to ignite, resulting in a fire. Fires are frequently caused by faulty lamps and light fixtures.
5. Electrical circuit overload
Extending extension cords without restriction is a big fire hazard. You often plug your TV, home theatre, and other gadgets into a single extension cord.
By doing so, you’re putting an excessive amount of electricity into a single socket that wasn’t built to handle it. This indicates that the circuit is overloaded, putting your property at risk of an electric fire.
As a result, it’s critical to make a conscious effort to avoid overloading your outlets. If you don’t have enough outlets to meet your demands, have a skilled electrician install more outlets to keep your home and family safe.
How to avoid them
Now that you are aware of some common causes of electrical fire hazards, let’s look into some of the tips to avoid them:
a. Do not delay
As soon as you find a loose outlet, repair or replace it. You may be able to enhance the connection by tightening the wire nuts, or you may need to replace the outlet.
b. Call an electrician
To have your property inspected and old wiring replaced, contact a trained electrician.
c. Carry out inspection
Hire a professional to inspect your wiring, external power panels, and electrical wall outlets for electrical safety.
d. Smoke detectors
Install high-quality smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Perhaps, this increases your chances of surviving an electrical fire, saving lives, and reducing property damage.
e. Heavy extension cords
For any application, choose heavy-duty extension cords. Place the cord out of the way, where it is safe. Do not run cords under rugs, as this might cause excessive heat. Never rely on extension cables indefinitely.
f. Keep examining
Keep an eye on your appliances. Examine cords for signs of overheating or exposed wires. If a device is making unusual noises, don’t wait until the cable catches fire to fix or replace it.
g. Purchase good quality
Purchase appliances that are made of high-quality materials and adhere to established safety guidelines.
h. Do not overload
Make sure that all light bulbs and lighting gadgets plug into sockets with the correct wattage. Make sure not to overload light fixtures, and replace any that appear to get too hot when turned on.
To conclude, only use an up-to-date model with all modern safety measures to limit the chance of starting a fire when using appliances. Make sure you’ve got the right size unit for the space.
Place them away from high-traffic areas, as well as furniture, drapes, bedding, and any flammable materials. Connect it to a wall outlet the same way you would any other device.
Use appliances only as suggested, and don’t leave them on when you’re not around. Perhaps, run a check on and off if any of them needs a fixture or repair.
Check for any leaking ac unit repair, microwave wiring issues, or extension overload problems. Do not wait for the fire to occur, perhaps, change and repair before the worst scenario.
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