Preventing fires from damaged wires or other electricity-related hazards in your home is as simple as using preventative electrical maintenance. The first step is to understand what causes electrical fires; then move on to taking the proper steps to stop them from happening, including a thorough inspection by qualified electricians. Learn about preventive electrical maintenance and how to prevent electrical fires at home to keep your family safe.
What Causes Electrical Fires?
Many things cause electrical fires, and almost all are tied to old wiring or careless acts by homeowners. Faulty electrical outlets and flaws in old appliances, from frayed cords to bad wiring in switches and receptacles, are among the most common causes. Old, ungrounded plugs are another leading cause. Modern plugs and outlets have three prongs for a reason.
Additionally, putting high-wattage bulbs into fixtures that aren’t designed for them and placing flammable materials over light fixtures is a common fire hazard. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that space heaters and plugging big appliances into extension chords can cause fires. Finally, if your home is over 20 years old or has an outdated fuse or breaker box, it could have old and dangerous wiring. A rodent infestation even causes electrical fires if they chew on the wires inside the walls.
Preventing Electrical Fires
In almost every case, preventing electrical fires involves updating old electrical connections and using common sense. Get rid of loose electrical outlets, and replace any two-prong outlets with three-prong outlets. Don’t use adapters or other methods to circumvent the third prong on a plug. Make sure all your cords are solid, not frayed, and never run them under rugs or staple them to walls or floors.
Keep in mind that extension cords are designed for short-term use only. If you use them, use them temporarily, and be sure they have safety closures. Ensure the wattage on your light bulbs matches the rating on the fixtures and that they’re securely screwed in. Any outlets near water should use ground fault circuit interrupters or GFCIs.
If you have an old fuse box, have it replaced by a professional with a modern breaker. Do not overload circuits, and keep your appliances updated. In addition, getting a professional inspection to check your home’s wiring and service capacity never hurts.
Your Electrical Preventative Maintenance Routine
Your electrical preventative maintenance routine should include regular and detailed inspections of your outlets, wiring, and breaker box. When checking your appliances for wiring issues, update them as needed. Double-check all bulbs to ensure they are secure and match the wattage rating in the fixtures.
Examine and repair any surge protectors. Replace these regularly, especially if they have been tripped. Most importantly, have a certified and experienced electrician look over your home periodically to ensure everything is in good working order.
Are You Worried About a Threat in Your Home?
If you’re concerned about a potential electrical fire threat in your home, Sin City Electrical is here to help. We will perform an inspection and repair any issues before they get serious. Get in touch with us to help keep your home or business safe. Contact Sin City Electrical today to learn more!