Faulty electrics are one of the most common causes of house fires. Considering house fires cause at least 50 deaths per year, a house fire is not a desirable outcome. But, your electrical system is complicated and you probably can’t live without electricity.
That’s why you need to be aware of the most common causes of electrical fires and take steps to ensure your home is not at risk. Part of your strategy to prevent this from happening should be to use a level 2 electrician and have an annual service. This will help to ensure all your electrics are behaving properly.
Table of Contents
Potentially the biggest issue at home is faulty sockets. These are sockets that may be colored or warm to the touch. They will probably make a buzzing noise or perhaps release a burning smell when being used.
This means that the sockets have a wiring issue, potentially allowing wires to come into contact with each other. This causes a short circuit that can ignite any combustible material in the vicinity.
It’s surprising how quickly the fire can then build.
Another major cause of home electrical fires is overloaded circuits. When too many items are plugged into the same circuit the cables will get hot, too hot for them to handle. This will allow the protective sheath to melt. Again, the inner wires can come into contact with each other and cause a spark.
In some cases, the heat generated by the overloaded circuit can be enough to start a fire. It will depend on whether the cables are inside trunking ducts and what material is around them.
Extension cords are often essential to get a plug point where you need it. They are much faster to use than adding extra wiring around your home. The extension cord is not unsafe if used properly.
However, electricity running through wires creates heat. If you don’t unwind the extension cord fully, the cold wires will get hotter and hotter, ultimately bursting into flame. This can then quickly spread to the surrounding furniture.
You can plug an extension cord in and feel the temperature rising in the cable, it will illustrate how important it is to unwind it every time.
Space heaters are one of the worst culprits for causing electric fires. The problem with this type of fire is that it is portable. You can move it around the home with you. While this helps to keep you warm it also increases the likelihood that you’re going to place it too near to a flammable surface.
If you leave the fire, even for a few moments, you may come back to find the heat has ignited a material nearby and started a house fire.
The key t preventing an electrical fire at home is to think before you plug items in and to have your electrical system inspected annually. While this doesn’t guarantee a fire won’t start, it dramatically reduces the risk.