Electrical fires are arguably one of the scariest there can be in a building. It can do a lot of damage going up the wires in the wall before you notice an issue. It can take 30 seconds to start spreading, just over a minute before it jumps to another room. In a matter of minutes, your home could be up in flames. When working with power outages, you have to be careful with power spikes and surges when the power comes back. If you have faulty wiring or appliances, there might be an overload that could cause an issue. Thankfully, electrical fires can be avoided pretty easily. Here are five ways to prevent electrical fires.
1. Faulty Appliances: Appliances are the most common causes of a fire. Never use them if the power cord is frayed or worn out. There’s no protection around those wires which can spark or send heat through the cord. If it’s on a floor, rug, near a curtain, or any other combustible surface fire can break out.
2. Light Fixtures: Have you ever tried to change a bulb that just blew? It’s scorching to the touch because of how much electricity it needs to work. The higher the wattage is for a bulb, the brighter the bulb will be, and the more power it requires. Lamps and light fixtures have a limit of how high of a bulb that can be used. Cloth, lampshades, paper, and more could be too close and ignite because of the heat.
3. Extension Cords: Extension cords can be beneficial as long as they’re used correctly. Unfortunately, they’re misused quite often. Extension cords are meant to be a temporary solution. They should not be used as a permanent source, especially if the appliance uses more electricity. An electrician can add more outlets throughout the house to accommodate what you need.
4. Space Heaters: Space heaters are great if you want to warm the room up a little without turning on the house’s primary heat. The issue is that people often have them too close to combustible items like a blanket, couches, rugs, curtains, and more. Even if they’re behind a cover, the space heaters with exposed coils can get hot enough to start a fire. Get a radiator-style heater that distributes the heat throughout the entire unit instead of focusing on one area. While it’s safe that a coil space heater, keep it clear of combustible items.
5. Wiring & Outlets: The outlet might be outdated with old or worn-out wiring. There could be a fault in the outlet itself or a switch that could cause a spark. Outdated wiring can be hazardous, especially in this electric-heavy time. If the wiring is over 20 years old, chances are it can’t handle things like computers, smart TVs, air conditioners, game consoles, and more. If the breaker box is original with the wiring, it may not trip with an overload resulting in a fire.