Electrical fires are directly caused by faulty wires, electrical hardware, circuit breakers, and malfunctioning outlets in the home. To ensure an electrical fire doesn’t start in your home, it’s important to regularly check the electrical panel to ensure the circuits are not overloaded. If you are not sure how to conduct a thorough audit of your electrical system, we recommend contacting a professional electrician.
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How Do Electrical Fires Start?
Electrical fires claim too many lives each year throughout the United States. This is because there are often little to no signs of an electrical issue before a fire starts. However, there are a couple of common signs to watch out for that could help you prevent an electrical fire from starting. There are also safety practices you can implement in your home to prevent fires from forming
Not Performing Maintenance On Your Utility Panel
A lack of preventative maintenance to the main utility panel is the top cause of electrical fires in homes. We recommend continuously sanitizing the utility panel to ensure it is functioning properly. You should also swap malfunctioning circuit breakers as you find them to ensure your home is safe for your family. In addition to conducting regular audits of your panel, it is also recommended to routinely check the wires in your home to prevent the formation of kinks. This issue causes friction in the wire, which produces heat.
Relying on Outdated Appliances
What causes electrical fires in old homes? The US Fire Administration reports that 13% of house fires are caused by malfunctioning equipment or appliances such as ovens, furnaces, microwaves, and stereos. To prevent an electrical fire from starting, we recommend investing in new energy-efficient appliances for your home. The cost of replacing an appliance is a lot less when compared to the total cost of rebuilding a home.
Purchasing Light Bulbs With an Incompatible Wattage
Light fixtures, such as lamps and chandeliers, are a leading cause of electrical fires in homes each year. A large number of these fires are caused by using a light bulb with an incorrect wattage. When purchasing light bulbs, it is extremely important to verify the proper wattage for your lamps and fixtures. In addition, another leading cause of electrical fires is placing clothing or materials over lamps. Never set items on top of your lamp – this causes the items to heat up and start a fire.
Setting the Space Heater Near Flammable Materials
Space heaters feature a compact form factor that allow them to be easily transported around your home to regulate the temperature. Can a space heater cause an electrical fire? Yes. If you set the space heater too close to flammable materials such as paper, clothes, couches, or curtains, this may cause an electrical fire. If you need to rely on space heaters, we recommend using the radiator configuration since these are the safest in a home setting.
While many people do not realize it, electrical wiring systems have a lifespan that is far lower than the lifespan of a home. In fact, an electrical system that is more than three or four decades old is almost certainly in need of an upgrade. If the system is not upgraded at the end of its lifespan, this may cause an electrical fire in your home. Once you notice your electrical system giving you any problems, whether it is blown fuses or lights flickering, you need to take action as soon as possible.
Plugging Appliances into Extension Cords
How do electrical fires start in homes? A large majority of fires are caused by the improper use of extension cords. Extension cords are designed to accommodate light weight electrical applications such as phone chargers, telephones, and lamps. To avoid an electrical fire, do not use an extension cord as the main power source for appliances such as ovens, stereos, televisions, or microwaves. Large appliances should be directly plugged into the wall to avoid causing an electrical fire.
Electrical Repair & Installation Services in New Jersey
Our team offers electrical repair services in areas of New Jersey such as Howell, Brick, Trenton, Elizabeth, Tom’s River, and Middletown. We will conduct an audit of your electrical system to ensure you and your family are safe from the harmful effects of electrical fires. Give us a call by phone at (732) 201-3305 to receive assistance with an emergency electrical issue.