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Prevent Electrical Fires at Home: Master the 5 Common Causes


Electrical fires at home are a very common occurrence. In many cases, these occur due to electrical malfunctions or a malfunction of an electrical device. Other times, it happens because of the wrong usage of the electrical system in a home.

In fact, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of property fire damage. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), there are nearly 45,000 homes every year experience damage due to electrical fires, which result in over 500 casualties, 1, 400 injuries, and $1.5 billion of damage to properties.

The damage caused by an electrical fire can be very devastating. Not only you have to deal with extreme cleanup, but restoring your home and its contents may require expensive repairs.

Take steps to prevent this from happening in your home by understanding the causes of electrical fires and what steps to take to protect your home.

What Causes Electrical Fires At Home

Faulty Electrical Outlets

Most electrical fires at homes happen due to faulty electrical outlets. Over time, outlets, and switches get worn and damaged. In some cases, fires begin in homes due to old or frayed appliance cords and self-joined wires. These damaged cords can send heat to combustible materials like rugs, carpet, floors, and curtains.

Light Fixtures

Another common reason for electrical fires at home is loading light fixtures with lamps or bulbs that are too large. When a bulb installed is higher than its permissible wattage, it can lead to overheating of the fixtures and cause the socket and the wire insulation to melt. When this happens, you are putting yourself at risk for arc faults or worse, fire damage.

Extension Cords For Appliances

Extension cords are very convenient when it comes to bringing power to your electrical devices. But using them without proper precautions can become a major fire hazard. Using extension cords should only be a temporary use. They are not meant to be used for plugging in devices permanently. Furthermore, plugging in multiple devices (for instance, TV, computer, home theater, and others) to an extension cord can cause them to handle too much load and eventually start a fire.

Overloaded Circuits

The common signs of overloaded circuits are a frequent trip of breakers and flickering lights. In general, a breaker trips to prevent overheating which can cause a fire. But often, people will just simply reset the tripped breakers. This will just put constant strain on the breakers and slowly become damaged, which can lead to electrical fires at home.

Outdated or Old Electrical Systems

Over time, you install more and more electrical devices in your home such as refrigerators, home theater, air conditioners, and others. Yet, you haven’t upgraded your electrical systems. Your outdated electrical wiring may not have the capacity to handle the increased power load of your electrical devices. If this is the case, your old wiring will heat up quickly and cause an electrical fires at home.

How To Prevent Electrical Fires At Home

While it is important to know the causes of electrical fires at home, it is also important to take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. To protect your home from electrical fires, follow these steps.

1. Inspect electrical plugs and cords regularly to reduce the risk of electrical fires.
2. Never use frayed or worn wires, cords, or plugs. Instead, discard them.
3. Only use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage capacity of the fixture.
4. Never use extension cords with heating equipment or major appliances. They should only be used for temporary use.
5. Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need additional circuits, consult an electrician.
6. Be watchful for any warning signs of electrical malfunctions such as flickering lights, circuit breakers that often trip or fuses that frequently blow. Another sign of an electrical malfunction is the burning smell every time you plug in an electrical device. Contact a professional technician immediately.

Recovering From An Electrical Fire? Contact Superior Restoration Company

By now, you may have an idea of how to protect your home from an electrical fire. But in case a fire has taken its toll and cause damage to your home, make sure to contact a certified fire damage restoration company.

Fire damage cleanup is very frustrating. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, you may end up causing more damage to your home. Fire, smoke and soot, and the water used to extinguish the fire, if not properly addressed can cause more and severe damage to your home. Let Water Damage Riverside of Superior Restoration Company help you. We provide fire mitigation and restoration services that will ensure that your home is back to its pre-damaged condition. Contact us today to learn more about our fire damage restoration services.


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