Electrical fires are common in commercial places where there is heavy usage of electricity, but even in homes damage happens due to an electrical fire. There are many reasons for such incidences, and most of them are preventable with a little caution. Let’s figure out some of the most common causes of electrical fires in homes and the best measures to prevent them.
Don’t overdo it yourself
It’s not a secret that many homeowners rely heavily on online tutorials for troubleshooting common electrical problems. While such trivial things as resetting a tripped circuit breaker or replacing the burnt bulb with a new one can be done by an amateur having some superficial knowledge of electrical systems, there are other tasks well left for an electrician because connections and repairs done by amateurs can work for a while but at the same time can be dangerous.
Electricians know what to do if your outlet bursts into fire or if you smell burning in the electrical panel. Leaving the job to an expert isn’t only a smart decision? It’s maybe legally required for bigger jobs that demand permits and inspections to stay within building codes. When you see an electrical problem at home and you don’t have professional knowledge of dealing with it, look up online or ask for references to find a pro that suits your needs and budget.
Don’t overload an electrical outlet
It is common to see people overload their electrical outlets without knowing the risks they are exposing themselves to. This occurs where you have plugged too many appliances into the same outlet, power strip, or extension.
It is advisable to get a power strip that is equipped with overload protection to prevent fires. The strip will shut off immediately if it gets overloaded, thereby preventing fire.
Replace damaged cord or plug
Having faulty wiring could also lead to issues that might cause a fire. A cord that is not in good condition exposes the electrical system to many things including water, which could lead to a series of problems that might end in fire.
Once you spot anything tattered, worn out or frayed you should immediately look for a replacement. Cutting and patching the wires or replacing the socket can be a tricky task. If you’re not sure, seek an electrician’s assistance to be sure the replacement is done well.
Don’t use fixtures that exceeds allowed wattage
It is common to see people use fixtures that exceed the wattage of the sockets they have installed in their homes. What happens is that the sockets get overburdened, and may not be able to withstand the heavy requirement for power. This leads to overheating that could lead to a fire in a matter of minutes.
It is necessary to always get appliances that match the power supply available at your home. When choosing a bulb, ensure its wattage matches the sockets available.
Get rid of unsafe appliances, old sockets
Appliances that don’t fall within modern safety standards are the biggest culprits. While buying your electrical appliances, you should be careful not to choose those that could pose a fire threat.
Consult a professional electrician for guidelines on how to set up your connections and the best items to add to the system to make it more stable. Replace old sockets and check for appliances that are not stable to use with an electric current.
Keep heaters at safe distance
Portable heaters with coils are potentially dangerous and their wrong positioning could lead to a fire. You must place the heater at a place with no clothes or rugs. The coil gets extremely hot and this could increase the risk of fire if not checked.
Always make sure that flammable substances are kept away from your portable heaters. Most importantly, consider using radiation heaters that cannot catch fire when they come in contact with other substances.
Fire damage is devastating and could leave you in debt. The fire damage restoration, however, can be a way to reverse or minimize the impact, but that may depend on the degree of damage.
One of the biggest causes of fire at homes is electricity, most probably caused by negligence and use of appliances that are not in good condition. Therefore, in general, it is advisable to inspect your home on a regular basis to see if there are any parts that are prone to electrical failure.