From our phones and laptops to washing machines and irons, we plug in almost everything, making electricity a necessity in our daily lives. All homes are wired to handle everyday usage. However, the wires, sockets, and all components that make up our home’s electrical system degrade over time, leaving behind inefficient and dangerous wires and sockets, common sources for electrical fires in homes.
Thankfully, homeowners can prevent fires with a few simple precautionary measures. Before we figure out how to prevent electrical fires, let’s see what causes them.
What Causes Electrical Fires?
These are the factors in your home that can cause electrical fires:
- Outdated Electrical Outlets
- Deteriorated Wiring
- Old Appliances
- Electrical circuit overload
- Malfunctioning Light Fixtures
- Portable heaters
Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires
Once you know what things can cause an electrical fire in your home, it becomes easy to apply the following preventative measures.
Have Frequent Electrical Inspection
The wiring in your home is not designed to last forever. Once it starts wearing out, it leaves behind exposed wires and inefficient sockets and fuses. These can lead to power surges or deficiency, resulting in electrocution and fires.
You never know what’s going on behind the walls. Rodents and rats might have chewed on the wires. Outlets can also fry up due to faulty wiring. People generally get professional help when there is some fault in their electrical system or their appliances are troubling them. You can avoid these inconveniences in advance by having frequent electrical inspections of your home.
Don’t Overload Outlets
Each outlet in your home has different amounts of power supply for various uses. Generally, the kitchen and bathroom outlets have the most power coming through because you need to run multiple appliances that consume more watts. The rest of the areas typically have a standard power supply.
When you plug in more appliances in a single area requiring more power than its supply, it can overload the outlets and cause short circuits, leading to a fire. It’s best to have an electrician install more outlets where you need them most. For instance, your bedroom or living area needs more outlets since you have many devices running on electricity. Installing more outlets will help you spread the power supply and prevent outlet overloading.
Keep Flammable Materials Away
Most fabrics we use in our homes, including towels, bedsheets, clothes, bathrobes, etc., catch fire quickly and extend it to other areas of the house. They should always be kept at a distance from electrical outlets or appliances plugged in outlets. Machines that consist of heating such as iron, hairdryer, hair curler, and straightener pose a greater threat of creating fire if kept too close to fabrics.
You should also store flammable items such as lighter fuel, alcohol, perfumes, etc., away from electrical outlets to prevent fires.
Watch for Cord or Plug Damage
Similar to your home’s wiring, the cords of the appliances and devices get weak over time. If you see any cord ripping and showing burnt marks, stop using that machine immediately. You can change the cord if it is replaceable. If not, it is best to discard the unit.
However, the problem can be at the other end of the plugs. Sometimes plugs are bent and out of shape, and they do not fit in the outlet properly. Or they might not work because the outlet is worn out and become loose. These situations can cause the plugs to spark when plugged in. If that happens, you will also notice them overheating quickly.
Beware of Appliances
At times, your home’s electric systems are in satisfactory condition, but the appliances can cause a fire. As we mentioned earlier, the outlets in the kitchen have more power supply because many appliances are running simultaneously. These include an air fryer, oven, electric stove, microwave, blender, grinder, and more. Using many of these at once can overload the outlets and cause a fire.
Moreover, there is a high chance of spilling liquid over these appliances. This can force the appliances to malfunction and create sparks. You should keep the machines away from liquids and moisture to avoid causing a fire. However, if a machine gets wet, you should stop using it immediately and call an electrician to inspect possible hazards.
Pay Attention to Flickering Lights and Buzzing Noises
Often, the signs are right in front of us, but we choose to ignore them. Flickering lights and buzzing noises might be a sign of ghosts in horror movies. In reality, they are a clear sign of a problem with the outlet or faulty wiring that needs your attention.
We Are Here to Help
Golden Electrical Services have a team of highly skilled electricians who are well aware of the causes of electrical fires and are ready to help you prevent electrical fires in your home. Please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a full electrical inspection of your home to keep your home and family safe.