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Electrical Fire: Causes and Preventative Measures

electrical fire

One of the many worries that a parent has is the risk of a house fire. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of a fire. One of those steps is to learn how to prevent an electrical fire. If you follow these tips, then you might be able to prevent an electrical fire from occurring in your home.

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

It can help you to prevent an electrical fire if you can understand some of the common causes of them. Here are the most common causes of electrical fires in homes:

1. Faulty Outlets or Appliances

In many cases, electrical fires start because of faulty outlets or appliances. Often, the outlet or appliance is outdated or just old. If you have outlets or appliances that might be worn out, you should examine them. Look for worn or frayed cords. When an appliance has a frayed cord, the cord can transfer heat to your carpet, curtain, or any other flammable material.

You should also be cautious with your outlets. If you have a two-prong outlet, then you can’t use a three-prong cord with it. The third prong is there for a reason. By removing the prong and plugging it in, you increase your risk of an electrical fire.

2. Extension Cords and Power Strips

Another common cause of fire involves extension cords. When you don’t use the cords properly, they can start a fire. For example, you should not use an appliance with an extension cord for an extended period. If you do, then an electrical fire can start. It’s only safe for temporary use.

You should also be wary of using power strips. While they can be safe, they can also be a hazard. Be sure to comply with the instructions on the power strip. If you notice any sparks, stop using the power strip.

3. Light Fixtures

Sometimes, light fixtures cause fires. At times, the bulb is to blame. If you put a bulb with high wattage in a fixture with a lower wattage, then a fire can start. Before you install a bulb, you should make sure that it’s the same wattage as your light fixture. Often, you can find the wattage directly on the fixture.

In an equally dangerous mistake, people sometimes place cloth over a lampshade. This is also a fire danger. When you turn your lamp on, the material can heat up. If it gets hot enough, it can burst into flames.

4. Faulty Wiring

In certain homes, the wiring is not up to code. Whether a home is old or new, it can have faulty wiring. If it does, then a fire could start.

Although faulty wiring occurs in new homes, it is most common in older homes. Homes from over two decades ago don’t have the ability to handle the high electrical needs of today’s world. As a result, your technology use could cause a circuit to overload. Normally, an electrical system handles this by triggering a breaker. However, older homes sometimes have worn out connectors. The breakers don’t always work. As a result, the overloaded circuit could cause a fire.

5. Space Heaters

In the winter, space heaters cause many fires. Often, people keep them too close to flammable materials. For example, you should keep them away from your bed, couch, and rug.

Tips for Preventing Electrical Fires

Here are a few tips that you can follow to prevent an electrical fire in your home:

1. Teach Your Children How to Prevent an Electrical Fire

By educating your children about the risk of an electrical fire, you can prevent one. Talk to your children about the risk factors. As you discuss the risks, tell them about things they should avoid doing. For example, tell them not to place material over lamp shades. You can also warn them against placing anything in an outlet.

2. Avoid DIY Electric Fixes

If you have an electrical problem in your home, then you should contact an electrician. Many people attempt DIY electrical repairs. However, this is often a mistake. There is a lot that can go wrong when you’re dealing with electricity. If you try to fix something yourself but fail, then you could cause a fire. Instead of taking this unnecessary risk, contact an electrician. He can fix the issue without any complications. Additionally, he might notice something that could be a fire hazard. Then, he can fix it and eliminate the hazard.

3. Be on the Lookout for Signs of Electrical Problems

Familiarize yourself with common electrical problems. Then, be on the lookout for those problems. If you notice anything that seems to be an issue, then call an electrician. When you wait too long for help, you put your home at risk for a fire. The sooner that you contact an electrician, the sooner you can fix the problem. With so much at stake, there’s no reason to wait for a professional opinion.

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