The Electrical Safety Foundation International states that there are about 51,000 cases of fire in homes resulting from electrical faults. Couple that with the $1.3 billion worth of damage, and you'll find that these fires can bring in some devastating results.
An electrical fire in your home poses a significant danger to you and your family. You'll need to be aware of the potential causes of electrical fires to keep you safe. This way, you can always look for any warning signs and call an electrician to have them fixed.
Worn-Out Electrical Wires
This problem is more common with older homes that had their electrical wiring done years ago. These old wires might not be resilient enough to handle the power requirements of modern electrical appliances such as wide-screen TVs and air conditioning units.
The wires could result in a short circuit if the insulation wears off. Short circuits are among the leading causes of electrical fires in a home. It might not be that easy to identify worn-out wiring, especially if installed on the inside of the walls in your home. However, there are a few ways to tell if you've got a fault in these wires, including:
- Constant flickering of lights
- A smell of burnt wires
- Electrical shocks on the surface of your appliances
As soon as you come across such signs, call an electrician in your area to avoid disaster.
If you find that your circuit breakers trip more often than usual, that could be a sign of a potential overload. The light bulbs tend to flicker or dim out whenever you turn on any appliance in your home. In such a case, your circuit system is on the brink of overload, which can be very dangerous.
The circuit breakers trip to prevent high current from heating up your system, avoiding an electrical fire. A problem arises if they trip too often. Ignoring this means that your breakers will always be under overwhelming strain. That often results in the wiring system giving in over time.
Bulbs, lighting fixtures, and lamps could result in home electrical fires as well. If a bulb's wattage is much greater than the light fixture limit, then an electrical fire is inevitable. Your electrician might have already warned you to always check for the maximum wattage set for a particular fixture.
You might also want to make sure that no clothes are placed over a lamp since they can easily catch fire. It is recommended to have a qualified electrician regularly check your electrical system, including lighting fixtures. A fault in these sections could easily result in a fire.