East-West Electric, Inc

Electrical Fire | Causes and How To Prevent Them

Electrical Fire

Electrical Fire | Causes and How To Prevent Them

Did you know there is danger in your home that can’t be detected by your security system? You will only hear your dog bark when it’s actually happening. We’re talking about an electrical fire.

There are on average 51,000 electrical fires every year. Around 500 people lose their lives and can cost more than $1.4 billion in damages only. These numbers are scary but the good news is that they can be preventable.

Our experts at East-West Electric explain the five biggest causes of electrical fires and how you can prevent them.

Faulty Wiring Is Dangerous

The U.S. Fire Administration says the number one cause of electrical fires is faulty wiring. But what causes it?

  • Age –  homes that are two decades old are at higher risk of having faulty wiring.
  • Rodents –  critters find their way into homes and chew on cords
  • Unprofessional installation – doing shortcuts to save time or money is all too common among home building.
  • Overloading the electrical system – old home’s electrical systems can’t handle modern-day devices very well.

Extension Cord Errors

Using extension cords the wrong way is another common cause of house fires. As you know, the holiday season is the time when most people experience extension cord-related fires. It’s also important to only consider an extension cord for a temporary solution. Extension cords are not a permanent solution when you want to plug several things in at one location. It will cause it to overload.

Power Cord Problems

There are many things that can go wrong with electrical cords. Here are some tips to prevent cord related electrical fires:

  • If any power cord is frayed, don’t plug it in! If you do it it will increase the risk of electricity escaping the cord and will set fire to the surrounding materials.
  • Do not remove the round grounding prong from a plug. The devices with three prongs draw way more electricity than two-prong devices.
  • Don’t place any cords underneath rugs. It is even more dangerous if the cord under the rug is broken.

Space Heaters May Pose a Hazard

Space heaters are very useful in homes where there isn’t heating or cooling in every room. Superheated coil space heaters are the biggest fire hazard because these coils get unbelievably hot. They can immediately set fire to every fabric near it.

You can switch to the enclosed radiator heaters to avoid electrical fires. They don’t have any exposed elements that could catch things on fire. But, it’s still smart to make sure this type of heater is away from any type of burnable items.

Installing Wrong Light Bulbs Can Cause Fires

Lights and lamps have a specific wattage for light bulbs. Another cause of electrical causes that is very common is when you use a higher watt bulb that the device allows. In order to avoid this type of house fire just check the light fixture for the recommended voltage, and only use that bulb size.

Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Home

Get your electrical system inspected, it can be the easiest way of avoiding an electrical fire. The only person in charge of performing any electrical inspection should be a licensed electrician. Professional electricians can perform electric inspections or can offer you a maintenance plan.

Electrical System Inspections by East-West Electric

Knowing that there are hidden dangers around your home that can cause electrical fires is frightening. Now you know what to look for and can take action to make sure your family is safe.

If you think your home has faulty wiring, or there is something else wrong, call an East-West Electric. Our electricians will be able to inspect your system and test for faulty appliances and wires.