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What Causes Electrical Fires?

Electricity has invaded our lives to the extent that we cannot imagine our life without it. Keeping our home free from electrical hazards is very crucial in the time when we hear about the accidents of electrical fires almost every day. Avoiding even the smallest electrical problem can prove to be the biggest threat to your life. Let’s find out what are the common causes of electrical fires:

Main Cause of Electrical Fires
  1. Old and faulty sockets and appliance: Old appliances which are damaged and worn out, fall short of the modern safety standards. Worn out wires, receptacles, and old sockets are the major causes of fires. Frayed wires can send heat to the natural combustible objects like curtains and rugs. Removing the one prong from the three prong cord can also cause a fire.
  2. Light fixture: Installing the high wattage light or bulb in the socket meant for the low wattage bulb is also another thing that can give rise to fire. Always use the recommended bulb wattage for the sockets.
  3. Too many appliances plugged into the extension cord: Extension cord should never be used permanently. Plugging too many appliances in a single cord overburdens that socket giving rise to the dangers of electrical fire. So if you need more outlets, get them installed by an electrician.
  4. Wrong placement of portable heaters: Many homeowners keep their heaters very close to the combustible objects like near the curtains, bed sheets, clothing, etc. Using a radiator heater is on the safer side because it diffuses the heat from the entire surface of the appliance.
  5. Old wirings: This is the most prevalent cause of the fires. When the house gets old, the wiring also gets old and frayed along with it. Even the wiring capacity is not enough to handle the modern high wattage appliances like big television, Microwave, air conditioner, etc. Upgrading the wiring system of a house older than 20 years is the best solution to this problem.

As a homeowner, you should never miss a few signs that may indicate the potential fire problems. The signs of electrical fire that you should always pay attention to are:

  1. Breaker keeps tripping: Breaker tripping is a safety feature. It prevents the circuit from overheating and thus prevents the house fires. If your breaker is frequently tripping, then it indicates that either your appliances are drawing too much of power or there is a short circuit somewhere. Don’t just keep pushing the breaker to start the current in the circuit but call an electrician to find and fix the problem.
  2. Discolored or burned outlets and switches: Loose connections can cause the arcing and a spark which can start a fire. The outlets when cannot tolerate the heat starts melting. A burned or blackened outlet should be immediately replaced.
  3. Burnt smell: When you are experiencing a burnt smell but are not able to identify the source of the smell, then there is a high chance that your circuit is short. Call a professional to get it checked.