Causes Of Electrical Fires
Sadly, most homeowners from Anoka to Stillwater think that an electrical fire will never happen at their home. But sadly, that is what most of the owners of the over 24,000 properties that experienced an electrical fire this year also thought. Equally as alarming is that over 80% of these fires were in single and two-family homes, not apartment complexes or other multi-family residences. So homeowners need to understand the common causes of electrical fires to avoid these potentially life-threatening catastrophes.
Faulty Outlets And Appliances
The leading cause of all electrical fires is faulty outlets and appliances. It could be a damaged electrical cord or outdated plug that is to blame for an entire house burning to the ground. The lesson here is never to use an appliance with a damaged, worn, or broken electrical cord or plug. And never plug anything into an outlet that is broken, damaged, or loose. Finally, never adapt a plug to fit an outlet, such as cutting off the third prong that is the ground to allow it to fit into an old two-prong outlet.
The common reason light fixtures start a fire is the wrong bulb in the fixture. When the bulb wattage is too high for the fixture, it increases the risk of overheating the wiring and socket to start a fire. The other common scenario involves placing cloth or paper over the lampshade to filter the light. Unfortunately, the bulb ignites the paper or fabric, rapidly increasing to a full house fire.
Misused Extension Cords
When used correctly, extension cords are safe. However, few people use them in that safe manner. Appliances should never be plugged into an extension cord. In addition, the cords should never be run under a rug or carpeting. The heat of the electricity in the extension cord can ignite the carpet and start a significant fire.
Electric Space Heaters
Sadly, many people will place an electric space heater too close to combustible fabric. Anything from a rug or drapes to a blanket or cloth on furniture can ignite and start a fire. It is also essential to place the space heater on a solid surface that will not allow it to tip over and ignite the carpet or rug. Finally, never leave the electrical cord for a space heater in an area that could create a tripping hazard and cause the space heater to flip over and start a fire.
Old Or Outdated Wiring
A licensed electrician should inspect any electrical wiring over 20 years old. Older wiring cannot safely carry the electrical current needed to operate many of today’s appliances and electronic devices. In addition, the connections and insulation could be old and deteriorated, creating fire and shock hazards. Outdated breakers are also a leading cause of electrical fires as they fail to trip and protect the electrical wiring from excessive power that eventually starts a fire.
To ensure that our home is free of these electrical fire hazards, call 612-236-9052 to schedule an appointment with the team at Lumberjack Electric for an electrical safety inspection.