Each year in the United States of America, home electrical fires account for approximately 51,000 fires, up to about 500 deaths, over 400 injuries, and an estimated $1.3 billion of damaged property.
That justifies the dire need to stay aware of the potential causes of electrical fires in the home so people can know how to avoid them in the first case. In this blog post, you’ll learn seven of the most common causes of electrical fires. Continue reading to know more.
Faulty Electrical Outlets
Damaged electrical outlets and worn out or improperly grounded sockets are the number one cause of electrical fires. As the wall plugs and switches age, their wiring also deteriorates and may become loose with time.
If the wires disconnect or accidentally break, giving out sparks that can increase the risk of a fire starting in your home. Look for an emergency electrician to promptly repair or replace any faulty electrical outlet.
Light bulbs, lamps, and light fixtures are also leading causes of electrical fires in homes. Installing a high-wattage bulb into light fixtures or lamps for which it’s not designed can cause the appliance to short out.
Always use a bulb within the maximum recommended wattage on any lamp or lighting fixture. A qualified emergency electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC can help you choose the required size bulb for your light fixtures.
Placing flammable materials near lampshades and other light fixtures is another cause of electrical fires.
Worn-Out or Old Appliances
Worn-out electrical equipment is also among the common culprits of most home electrical fires. Besides drawing excess power, old appliances whose cords are frayed or damaged pose an increased risk of an electrical fire.
An emergency electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC can conduct a simple electrical repair to solve these issues. But given the high flammability of the old insulation in these appliances, a repair may not be enough.
The best thing is to switch to updated models. That way, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve taken steps toward preventing electrical fires on your property.
Cords and Electrical Circuit Overloads
Excessive usage of extension cords in homes is a significant fire threat. Plugging your tablet, computer, TV, home theater, or other electronic devices into a single extension cord or power strip creates extra power load on a single outlet than it can handle. That means you’ve overloaded the circuit, which amounts to the danger of an electric fire breaking out in your home.
This is why individuals need to make a conscious effort not to overload electrical outlets. If you’ve got a few outlets that can’t meet all your needs, consider hiring a professional emergency electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC to install more outlets to keep your home and loved ones safe.
Also, the emergency electrician you’ve hired can install appliance-grade outlets designed especially for that appliance and the kind of your house. In addition, your emergency electrician could install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in your home, which act as surge protectors against some electrical fires.
Always be conscious of where you leave your electric space heater during winter. Again, avoid leaving it on for an extended period when you’re asleep or not around your house. Placing your heater close to combustible items such as furniture, rugs, curtains, and blinds is a common cause of house fires.
If you use space heaters, utilize updated units with all the modern safety features to reduce the risk of a fire in the home. Also, ensure you use the appropriate unit size for the room you want to heat. Check with an emergency electrician near you if you need help with the sizing.
Worn-Out or Outdated Electrical Wiring
Most homeowners will only think about the state of their electrical wiring when an issue emerges. The truth is your electrical system, like any other part of your home, is subject to depreciation and aging.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that most of the serious electrical fires in homes should not have occurred in the first place. This is because the conditions under which the fires came about would have been detected and corrected early if the homeowners had an electrical inspection. CPSC suggests using the age of your house to determine if you need an inspection.
If your home is old, the outdated wiring may not handle the increased power demands of modern-home appliances and electronics, including clothes dryers, wide-screen televisions, microwaves, air conditioners, and video players. Older wiring heats up quickly, increasing the chances of electrical fires.
It’s tricky sometimes to tell if your home wiring is old and unsafe since most electrical work is usually hidden behind the walls. But that doesn’t mean you ignore it because faulty wiring is a significant fire hazard. Watch out for the following signs that may indicate your wiring is worn out:
- Burning smells in your home
- Electrical devices or appliances that feel hot to the touch
- Shocks or sparks from outlets or appliances
- Flickering lights or intermittent power blackouts
- Frequently tripping circuit breakers
If you notice any of the above, your fire risk is high. Therefore, instead of letting the condition linger, you should talk to an emergency electrician about upgrading your electrical system for maximum safety.
Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach: The Most Trusted General and Emergency Electrical Service Provider
Now that you’ve learned the causes of electrical fires in the home, you must pay attention to any sign that something is possibly wrong in your electrical system. And when you’re faced with an electrical emergency, don’t think twice about contacting the experts.
The company to call is the Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach. Our emergency electricians offer same-day services, 24/7. You can schedule online or ring our emergency service line, and we shall respond immediately to get you and your family safe.
See our previous blog post here!