The smallest electrical problem can result in a deadly situation. However, you can minimize the chance of experiencing this dire scenario by knowing the common causes of electrical fires.
Causes of Electrical Fires
Many old appliances do not meet modern-day safety standards, which can result in an electrical fire. Frayed wires from appliances can often overheat, causing sparks. Also, too many different appliances plugged into an extension cord can create a very dangerous situation. It is a good idea to contact an electrician to install additional or upgraded outlets. Homeowners should always avoid using an extension cord on a permanent basis, particularly if they aren’t being used with complete safety.
A portable heater should never be near combustible items such as bed sheets, clothing, or curtains. Keeping these items away from portable heaters is essential in preventing fire hazards. Consider using a radiator heater. It is a much safer option, as it diffuses the heat from the entire area of the appliance.
Light Fixtures and Old Wiring
A common cause for an electrical fire is using a high wattage light bulb in a socket designed for a low wattage bulb. Always verify the bulb wattage for each socket to reduce the chance of a fire. Old wires are another common reason for electrical fires, as the capacity of the wiring can’t handle modern day appliances. It is always a good idea to have an electrician upgrade your wiring system if it is older than 20 years.
Signs of Potential Risk
A common sign for a potential fire hazard is a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. A tripped breaker can indicate a short circuit or that your appliances are using too much power. Discolored outlets and a noticeable burning smell are both significant safety concerns.
For additional safety tips on how to prevent electrical fires, contact Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling. We recommend regular inspections of your systems and evaluations of whether or not everything is up to code. Time wears down even the best appliances, and we certainly don’t think that you should wait until an electrical fire to realize that yours are out of date. Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling provides residential electrical service in Towson and the greater Baltimore area.