Did you know there were an average of 46,700 home fire incidents in recent years because of electrical malfunctioning, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which caused roughly 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage?
We know it’s frightening, but with the proper knowledge, you can safeguard your family against the horror of a fire hazard. In this blog, we will cover everything about the electrical fire. We will discuss the warning signs that might indicate a faulty electrical system, common causes of an electrical fire, and, most importantly, how you can prevent an electrical fire from demolishing your home.
We will also let you know about what to do if you ever face this misfortune. After an extensive fire you need to consult a professional fire damage company in Florida to guide you through the recovery process.
If you are a DIY expert, we also got you covered as we will share the top 5 DIY electrical fire safety tips & prevention steps. So that you can ensure fire safety from every possible aspect. Without any further ado, let’s jump on the identable signs of an electrical fire system:
Warning Signs of Faulty Electrical System
Recognizing the warning signs of a malfunctioning electrical system is crucial to preventing electrical fire hazards. Here are some signs that can indicate a possible wiring and electrical issue:
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- Notice if your switches are getting hotter than usual or giving off an acrid odor.
- Cords, outlets, and switch plates are getting discolored.
- Fuse blowing and circuit breakers tripping repeatedly.
If you notice any of these signs, immediately contact a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system thoroughly and repair electrical problems. Being careful and fixing these issues early can save you from unfortunate firetrap.
Common Causes of Electrical Fires
If you want to prevent fire from electricity, you should know about the potential reasons why it might happen. Being vigilant about these reasons will help you in electrical fire prevention:
Faulty Wires & Outlets
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets or worn-out sockets that aren’t properly grounded. With age, the wiring behind sockets and outlets can loosen over time and eventually break and cause an extensive fire.
Light Fixtures & Fittings
Other common causes of electrical fires are lamps, lightbulbs, and light fittings. It’s important to follow the wattage guidelines for all light fixtures and lamps in your home and stay within the recommended amount. If your bulb’s watt is too high or doesn’t match the electricity supply line, it’s very likely to start an electrical fire.
Placing materials such as cloth or paper over lampshades can also cause an electrical fire to start, as the material can heat up and ignite. That’s why you should never cover your lights and lampshades.
When large numbers of appliances are plugged into extension leads, this can create an excessive power load on a single socket, crossing its capacity and, eventually, causing an electrical fire.
Your appliances should always be plugged directly into an outlet, or if it’s necessary to use an extension lead, be careful not to overpower your multi-plug. Besides causing an electrical fire, a malfunction will instantly cause a short-circuit, damaging your devices.
If there aren’t enough outlets in your home to accommodate your needs, then hiring an electrician and adding outlets is preferable rather than using extension leads.
Portable heaters should never be used for an extended period of time or overnight and shouldn’t be placed too close to flammable surfaces like curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, sofas, and rugs, as this is one of the most common ways for them to start an electrical fire.
Choosing a radiator-type heater rather than a coil space heater is advised as the coils get extremely hot, meaning they can easily ignite any nearby flammable surface.
Vice-versa, radiator-type heaters diffuse heat over the entire surface of the appliance and are less of a risk but should still be used with care.
Wiring in older homes often isn’t up to handling the increased demands and numbers of electrical appliances the average Florida home now has.
Usually, breakers are triggered when a circuit is overloaded with too much electricity, but old breaker boxes may have worn connectors that don’t work, which can cause the system to overload and catch fire.
Old or Faulty Appliances
Similar to outdated wiring, using old or dated appliances can cause an electrical fire hazard as they may not be up to standard when it comes to wattage usage, material quality, and safety regulations.
Old and well-used appliances may have a worn cord that can send heat onto flammable surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs, which can start a fire. The grounding plug should also never be removed from a cord so that it can be used in a two-prong electrical outlet.
We hope that you never come across an electrical fire, but unfortunately, if you do, don’t stress yourself and contact a professional restoration service in Florida to mitigate the damages and restore your property after an electrical fire.
Electrical Fire Prevention Tips
Electrical fire is particularly dangerous as it can spread within seconds without giving you much time to do anything about it. That’s why it’s important to take preventive steps so that you can minimize the chances of an unfortunate electrical fire.
Check The Wires And Plugs
Regularly inspecting electrical wires and plugs helps to limit the danger of electrical fires.
- Throw away any damaged or frayed wires or plugs.
- Never remove the third prong from a plug in order to plug it into a two-pronged outlet.
- Switch out two-pronged outlets for three-pronged ones.
Pro tip: If you have children in your family, cover unused outlets with safety plugs or install spring-latch covers.
Properly Plug & Unplug Cords
- To remove a plug from the wall, secure it in place. Pulling on the cable might cause it to wear out, increasing the danger of a short circuit, electrical shock, or fire.
- Avoid using multi-outlet extenders, power bars, and surge protectors without emergencies, as you increase the danger of overloading a single circuit by doing so.
- Avoid using extension cables. If you require the extra length, frequently install more electrical outlets rather than dangerous extension cables.
- Never put electrical wires beneath rugs.
- Keep electrical wires away from heat and water sources.
Ensure The Safety of Electrical Appliances
- Purchase appliances that have been certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
- Properly follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Before cleaning small appliances (toasters, toaster ovens, coffee machines, etc.), make sure you have disconnected them.
- Have faulty devices inspected by a professional.
- Disconnect small appliances when not in use for a long period, such as when on vacation.
Inadequate Electrical Wiring
Inadequate wiring is common in older homes and flats. This may be both a fire and an electrical threat. If any of the following statements apply to your home, contact a licensed electrician to evaluate your electrical system.
Examples of poor electrical wiring:
- You disconnect one device before plugging in another. Otherwise, you risk tripping a circuit breaker or blowing a fuse.
- Because you don’t have enough outlets, you run several extension cables or connect multiple cords into a single outlet.
- Your furniture arrangement options are limited if you need to be close to electrical outlets.
- Appliances like toasters and irons take a long time to heat up.
- When you operate certain appliances, your lights dim or flicker.
- You enter rooms and stairwells in the dark because there aren’t enough three- or four-way light switches.
If one or more things are relatable to you, you need a proper remodel of your electrical system to prevent an electrical fire in the house.
What to Do After A Fire From Electricity?
No matter what the reason might be, a house fire is ill-fated and devastating. It can cause great damage to your property, and it’s put your life at risk. Follow the tips mentioned above to know how you can prevent electrical fire.
But if you come across this unfortunate situation, don’t panic and check if all of your family members are alright. After putting out the fire, contact a reliable fire damage restoration company in Florida to restore your valuable belongings.
My Remediator is a trustworthy professional restoration service in Florida that can help you to renovate your home after an extensive electrical fire. We are renowned as a fire damage restoration company and provide satisfactory remediation services to homeowners all over Florida.
Check out our comprehensive blog for more detailed information about what to do after a fire.
In conclusion, understanding the common causes of electrical fires and taking preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of such devastating incident in your home. By being aware of warning signs, such as flickering lights or discolored outlets, you can identify potential electrical issues early on and seek professional assistance to fix them before the calamity happens.
Implementing simple electrical fire prevention tips, like regularly inspecting wires and plugs, avoiding overloading circuits, and keeping electrical appliances well-maintained, can go a long way in safeguarding your home and loved ones.
Remember, electrical fires can spread rapidly, leaving little time to react, so taking proactive steps is crucial. Additionally, if you experience an electrical fire in the house, it’s essential to prioritize safety, ensure the well-being of your family, and promptly contact a reputable fire damage restoration company like My Remediator to help restore your property.
With the knowledge gained from this blog, you can make informed decisions about fire prevention and protect your home from the devastating consequences of electrical fires. By staying vigilant, maintaining your electrical system, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can create a safe environment for your family and enjoy peace of mind.