Fires can start a lot of different ways, but an electrical fire is the worst when it comes to the amount of damage done. Electrical fires cause the highest dollar amount lost compared to all of the other ways fires can start. Most electrical fires can be avoided by taking a few preventative steps.
Too Many Cords
Too many cords being plugged into a single outlet is one of the most common ways electrical fires start. Many people hook up numerous power strips and extension cords to only one single outlet. Try to avoid using more than on strip and be sure it has internal overload protection, as this will ensure that the strip shuts off when it becomes overloaded.
Electrical Plug and Cord Damage
One of the main causes of electrical fires is defective wiring. If you find anything that is frayed, tattered, or worn out, it should be replaced with new wiring. Cords that are in bad condition can overheat or cause sparks and start a fire.
If you have moved into an older home, it’s likely worth having an electrician take a look at the electrical system. Likewise, if you have lived in your home for many years, you should schedule an inspection. Homes that are old or have aluminum wiring can put you at high risk for fire.
Electrical Short and Electrical Wiring Issues
Flickering lights, plugs that spark, breakers that continue to trip, and buzzing outlets are all signs of faulty wiring—all of which can cause sparks that can quickly lead to a fire. Fixing shorts and faulty wiring will need the expertise of an electrician.
Keep Flammable Items Away
Electrical appliances such as space heaters, iron, hair dryers or irons, and even lamps can cause a fire if contact is made with flammable materials like blankets, towels, and rugs. Do not hide cables, particularly extension cords, under rugs or carpets. If they overheat, a fire can easily start.