6 Common Causes of Electrical House Fires

Image Source

House fires can be devastating. Lives can be lost, and families can find themselves homeless with nothing left. With the number of fires increasing around the world due to warmer and drier climates reducing the number of preventable house fires is more important than ever.

Despite efforts to spread awareness, there is still much that needs to be done to start lowering the numbers of preventable house fires and saving more lives and homes.

The best way to avoid losing your home or your life is to be aware of the common causes of electrical fires and how to prevent them. Many fires are caused by electrical faults so we asked Connect Electric to tell us the most common causes of electrical fires.

  • Poor or Faulty Wiring in the Home

Wiring doesn’t last forever. If you live in an older home, you need to have an electrician inspect your electrical system. They can find signs of wear or damage. Even though you may not see it, there could be problems lying just behind a wall or under an outlet cover. 

If you notice frayed wires, discoloration, scorch marks, smell burning odours, or hear buzzing sounds, seek the help of a professional.

  • Continued Use of Old or Malfunctioning Appliances

An appliance may still operate if it is old or damaged. You should not rely on these devices to continue working to their original safety standards. If the motor seems to work too hard, you hear unusual noises, the appliance feels hot, or you notice changes in performance, it’s time to buy a replacement. 

  • Overuse or Improper Use of Extension Cords

Extension cords can make life easier, but they should only be used as recommended.  Never run them through walls or ceilings in place of wiring. They should not be stapled, nailed, or shut in windows or doors.

If you see damage on the cord’s insulation, discontinue use. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you find yourself needing multiple extension cords in your home, it may be time to talk to an electrician to add new outlets.

  • Installing the Wrong Bulb in Lights or Lamps

Did you know that using the wrong light bulb can increase your fire risk? Make sure the bulbs you use are under the wattage limit for your lamps and light fixtures. Also, avoid using lamps that include flammable features like paper.

If you use antique lamps, make sure they are inspected by a professional in case of worn out or faulty wiring.

  • Use of Substandard Electronic Devices

The internet gives us so many shopping options. However, be wary when you find deep discounts on electronics. 

Make sure everything you buy built to Australian safety standards. Some websites sell subpar devices that don’t include safety features or may not be constructed correctly, leading to a fire hazard.

  • Distractions and Unattended Heaters

Radiant heaters and cooking appliances can get very hot. If you aren’t paying attention, they could ignite something nearby. Turn off and unplug these appliances when you cannot be there to monitor them.

Teach everyone in your household how to be safe when using electricity. Taking a few extra steps now could save your home and possibly your life later.

Recommended Posts: