We all know the danger that is an electrical fire. But what exactly can cause it? After all, electrical fires can be uncomfortably common, considering they account for about 51,000 fires each year. So, it does raise the question of what can cause this terror to appear in our homes. Fortunately, that’s what the electrical experts at The Happy Outlet are here to help answer.
It is important to know of the common electrical fire causes. Doing so can help you prevent one from occurring in your home. Below are 4 common electrical fire causes.
1. Misusing Extension Cords
Misusing extension cords isn’t a mistake you would want to make. Extension cords are used to extend an outlet’s reach, sometimes with multiple outlets. Although their purpose can be useful, misusing extension cords can sometimes lead to an electrical fire.
There are several ways an extension cord can be misused. One of the most common is connecting multiple of them together. This reduces the wattage capabilities of each cord, possibly leading to melted casing, sparks, and an electrical fire. Overheated or damaged extension cords can also lead to a fire. This can happen if you use extension cords outside that are not weatherproofed.
2. Faulty Outlets/Light Switches
Your outlets and light switches are the most common ways to directly interact with your electrical system. Unfortunately, when they begin to lose function, the chance of an electrical fire increases.
Faulty outlets and light switches can be the result of damaged wiring, loose box connections, cracked casing, or deterioration from age. Once this happens, an outlet or light switch can showcase some signs that indicate an electrical fire may happen. If you notice these signs in any of your outlets or light switches, contact The Happy Outlet immediately:
- Outlet/Light Switch Feels Warm or Vibrates to the Touch
- Burning Smell Coming from Outlet/Light Switch
- Outlet/Light Switch Emits Sparks or Shock
- Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers
3. Mishandled Space/Portable Heaters
Space and portable heaters are a great way to cut down on heating usage, but they must be handled carefully. These items are known to cause electrical fires when placed next to flammable material. If enough time has passed, space and portable heaters can cause nearby clothes, blankets, and curtains to catch fire. This is due to the heat of the coil in most heaters becoming incredibly hot after enough time.
4. Bad Wiring
The wiring in your electrical system gets things done. Electricity is transferred via wiring, and problems with your wiring can be dangerous. Issues such as loose connections, exposed or frayed wiring, and improper placements can all lead to an electrical fire. This might be due to possibly leaving hot wire exposed, which if touching a conductive material, can excite the current to dangerous levels.
The worst part about bad wiring is you may not know it is present in your home. That’s why it is important you have your electrical system inspected at least once a year. Be sure to contact The Happy Outlet if your electrical system hasn’t been inspected in a while.
When maintaining your electrical safety, keep in mind these common electrical fire causes to help avoid them. And be sure to contact The Happy Outlet if your home requires a quality and affordable electrical services. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 to get started!