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What Causes Electrical Fires
What Causes Electrical Fires
February 01, 2023

What Causes Electrical Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that about 24,000 electrical fires occur every year. Unfortunately, these fire incidents lead to numerous deaths and results in thousands of dollars of damage. No matter how protected, fire can engulf any building if the occupants are careless in handling or dealing with electrical gadgets, installations, and combustible materials.

That is the reason every homeowner must be equipped with the right information about fire outbreaks and steps to prevent them.

Here is the lowdown on the causes of electrical fires in both residential and commercial buildings.

Faulty Electrical Outlets

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and switches that can spark, form an electrical arc, or catch on fire. The faults in appliance cords, receptacles, and switches can be amplified when they get increased voltage or cause sparks when you plug in your gadgets.

To avoid fire that erupts as a result of faulty electrical outlets, you need to be vigilant when the light flickers as you plug or put on any electrical outlet or appliance. Stop using outlets that park whenever an appliance is plugged. Rather call a professional to identify the cause of the spark and resolve it as fast as possible.

Using Old and Outdated Appliances

The average electrical appliance was not designed to last forever. They may wear out in around 15 years when used consistently. Additionally, they are more likely to have frayed cords or loose wiring and also fall short of modern safety standards. Because of these reasons, old appliances can easily get heated to cause fire when the power supply fluctuates.

Therefore. It is highly recommended that you get rid of old appliances or electronics including TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers electric iron, etc. And replace them with modern ones that follow safety standards.

Overloaded Electrical Circuits

A circuit is overloaded when a single extension cord is used to power multiple appliances and electronics. This makes the extension cord or electrical circuit to generate heat and with time, it may cause an electric fire.

You need to desist from plugging multiple cords into a single power source, rather than use multiple outlets for your appliances. Furthermore, you should have dedicated circuits for high voltage appliances like the electric iron, heater, refrigerator, or air conditioner. If there are few outlets in your home, we suggest that you call a local electrician from Neighborhood Electric to install more.

Outdated Wiring

Just like outdated appliances, worn-out electrical wiring can cause an electrical fire in your home or office. Old wiring may be rated for lower amps that can be overloaded with increased amounts of appliances. Sometimes, the breaker boxes get so old that they won't trigger when circuits get overloaded. If you have inherited property, probably it was built 20 30 years ago, then chances are that the wiring is weak. Most outdated wiring cannot handle additional appliances like widescreen televisions, computers, video, and gaming players.

If you have noticed flickering lights or humming sounds from the electric circuits or breaker boxes, let a professional check the wiring to save you from an impending disaster.

Other leading causes of electrical fire include installing high-wattage light fixtures and light bulbs in an incompatible lamp, keeping portable heaters close to upholstery, curtains, and bedding. Call the experts from Neighborhood Electric if you are having any electrical issues in your home or office.