What are the Common Causes of Electrical Fires?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical fires make up an average of 47,820 reported home structure fires. These fires cause several civilian injuries and deaths as well as significant damage to homes. While this information might seem a little harrowing at first, it’s important to know that there are some easy steps you can take to prevent them. To help ensure the safety of your household, the pros at Kanon Electric have a prepared a list of the most common causes of electrical fires.
1. Using Old Appliances with Loose Wiring
Old appliances might have a lot of loose, frayed, exposed or uninsulated wiring. This can be dangerous because loose and worn out connections might lead to a phenomenon calling “arcing.” Arcing occurs when power flows through a broken wire connection and jumps from one connection to another. This can cause sparking – and the heat caused by it can eventually lead to a fire. To prevent this from happening, be sure to replace old appliances in your home and have Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets installed in your home. AFCI outlets can detect when arcing occurs and are instrumental in preventing electrical fires.
2. Placing Flammable Objects Near or On Heat Sources
Electrical fires can sometimes be caused by some small, seemingly unimportant actions. One of these is simply placing a flammable object, like a blanket, on a heat source such as a lamp. The heat from the lamp can cause the material to ignite, leading to a fire.
3. Using Extension Cords Incorrectly
Extension cords can be helpful to have. However, there are some safety tips you should be following when you use them.
- Don’t Use an Indoor Extension Cord Outdoors
Indoor extension cords are not meant to be used outdoors as they do not have the capabilities, insulation and protections that outdoor extension cords have.
- Don’t Overload an Extension Cord
Do not plug in major appliances in a cord and don’t use it for more than one appliance.
- Extension Cords Shouldn’t Run Under Rugs
Avoid running extension cords and wires under rugs or furniture. Even a little spark can cause the material in your home to catch on fire.
- Disconnect Safely
When disconnecting from the outlet, make sure you pull the plug instead of the cord from the outlet.
4. Using the Wrong Kind of Bulb
Every lamp and light fixture has a recommended or maximum wattage. If you install bulbs that are higher than the recommended wattage, you might be making a big mistake. Your fixture might be unable to safely handle such a high wattage and might overheat, which can most definitely lead to an electrical fire. Using a higher wattage bulb won’t make the lighting any brighter, so make sure you use a bulb within the recommended wattage.
Have any more questions about electrical fires and what can cause them? Get in touch with the pros at Kanon Electric! Call us today 253-655-2855 or schedule a service with us on our website!