Knowing the Hazards: Common Causes of Home Electrical Fires

fixing electrical wiring

Faulty electrical connections are the leading cause of home fires in most countries. This is especially true during warmer months when homeowners use more appliances to keep the temperature at comfortable levels.

If you live in an older home, it is high time you have the house’s electrical wirings checked. You may be surprised to find out that you have been living inside a fire hazard for the longest time. Make sure to check your house for the following.

Loose Outlets

Over time, electrical outlets can become loose and worn out, and this is why you need to check and replace them. When appliances that are plugged into an outlet function intermittently, it can be a result of a poor connection.

The remedy is to tighten the wire nut connections of the outlet or replace it altogether. Also, remember to plug and unplug power cords gently. Pulling or tugging can cause damage to both the plug and the outlet.

Worn-Out Switches

Just like power outlets, switches can wear out in the long run. They can last for several years, but they too have a limited lifespan. The wire connections found on the back of the switch can become loose. Like your outlets, switches must be fixed or replaced altogether.

Corroded Fixtures

Wires and other electrical parts age and degrade. Your lighting fixtures can last for about 20 to 30 years, but the wires inside can be worn out, get charred and become corroded. You can hire commercial electricians in Salt Lake City to replace your old and corroded electrical fixtures to keep them from turning into fire hazards.

Extension Cord Use or Octopus Connections

Extension wires are among the leading causes of home fires. So are octopus connections, or where extension cords are used to connect other lines to power up a certain area or appliance.

An overused or abused extension cord can heat up and cause the wires to melt and become a potential cause of fire at home. It is best to use a direct connection for your electricity needs or add an outlet rather than use extension cords for months or years.

Overloading

fixing electric socket

Older homes may have been built to last structurally, but architects may not have foreseen how much electricity is needed to keep modern appliances and gadgets running. There may be insufficient power or not enough circuits to keep things powered.

In the past, the kitchen can only have one circuit, which is clearly insufficient to handle and operate a fridge, blender, electric stove, mixer, microwave and other appliances all at the same time. This results in overloading and can cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Defective Equipment

Ensuring that all of your home appliances and electrical equipment are in tip-top shape is another way to prevent home fires. If you suspect that there is a defective component or switch, do not plug it in. Make sure an electrician checks it before you use it.

Electrical wires can short circuit and overload with improper use and faulty connections. Make it a habit to have electrical wirings and connections inside your home checked regularly by professionals.