How Do Electrical Fires Start

Each time the electricity flows, there is heat. Under the normal conditions, the heat is minimal. The wiring in your home is installed and designed to prevent any huge amount of heat buildup in an electrical system. There are times that failing devices or equipment make more heat than they’re made to. Other things that cause electrical fires are as follows:

Outdated or Faulty Wiring

One of the reasons why electrical fires start is due to faulty wiring. But, it can be hard to tell if wiring in your house is faulty or outdated because majority of these are behind the walls. If your house is already 20 years old, there’s a chance that wiring systems are too old to handle the modern electronics such as video game consoles, microwaves, computers, wide-screen TVs, and so on. The circuits trip breakers once they become overloaded with the electricity, yet if wiring is faulty, this won’t trip breakers, which boost the risk of electrical fires.

Corroded and Old Fixtures

As the electrical parts age, the wiring actually degrades slightly yearly. Light fixtures might be great for 2 to 5 decades, yet the inside wire insulation chars, connections corrode and light bulb sockets will not be able to hold bulbs well. If the lights flicker or will not stay lit and switch problems were eliminated, it might be a good time to replace the old light fixtures.

Worn Switches

Worn switchLike the outlets, switches also wear out in the long run. Usually, they’ll last for a lot of years that make it easy to think they’ll last forever, yet they will not. The wire connections on the side or back of the switch might be loose and like outlets, switches require replacement. It’s possible that wire nuts were loose behind the switch.

Using Space Heaters Improperly

Most people use space heaters during winter season to make their houses more comfortable with extra heat. But, space heaters are considered to be one of the largest electrical hazards in terms of starting fires. As a matter of fact, experts warn that space heaters start thousands of fires yearly in homes and thousands of people were also injured from touching the heater’s surface. Coils in the space heaters can easily ignite clothing, bed sheets, curtains, upholstery, and some flammable materials. See to it that your space heater has some safety features, which reduce the risk of fires and plug it to the electrical outlet directly. Keep space heaters away from the flammable materials. Then, turn your space heater off before you leave it unattended.

Misuse of Light Fixtures

Lamps and light fixtures are fire hazards only if they have faulty wirings or light bulbs and outlets used don’t accommodate wattage. You must only replace light bulbs with the recommended wattage of bulbs or bulbs with lower wattage to prevent overheating that might result to fires. Keep the flammable materials including curtains and some textiles away from the lamps and light fixtures and never use cloth or paper covering over the lampshade.

Further read: Learn How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home


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