Each year, in the United States, almost 51,000 electrical related fires result in close to 500 deaths. Many of these accidents could be prevented by understanding what can cause an electrical fire, being aware of the warning signs that could lead to an electrical fire, and knowing what measures to take in order to prevent an electrical fire.
One of the most common causes of residential electrical fires is by arc fault. Arc faults occur when a corroded wire or a loose wire connection touches combustible material, causing sparking and extreme heat. Other causes of electrical fires include outdated wiring, misuse of extension cords, faulty outlets, outdated appliances, light fixtures, and space heaters.
Unaware occupants often can cause residential electrical fires because the residents don’t know the warning signs of a potential failure with their home electrical system. Common warning signs of a potential electrical fire also include flickering or dimming lights, discolored switch plates, continuously blown fuses and/or tripped circuit breakers, and outlets or switches that are hot to the touch.If you hear a hissing or buzzing sound in an electrical outlet or a light switch, this means you hear an arc happening. This may not mean a fire will happen at any minute, but this noise does mean that you should address the situation immediately.Most signs of electrical fires are odorless, but if you smell burning vinyl or plastic or the odor of something electrical burning, turn the main power off and contact an electrician immediately.
With injuries and deaths resulting from residential fires, the most important prevention measure you can take is to have functioning smoke and fire alarms throughout your home and to have an escape plan for your family. You have a number of ways to reduce or lower the risk of electrical fires, such as:
Electrical fires are extremely dangerous — they can quickly grow and spread out of control. Keep in mind that, unless you have experience with electrical work, these types of repairs are not typically a DIY project.If you’ve ever done some electric work yourself or had someone inexperienced do any type of electrical work in your home, have a professional, licensed electrician inspect the electrical system. This will help prevent against problems in the future.For residents in the Orlando, FL, area, rely on the quality electricians from In Phaze Electric Inc. We offer a wide range of electrical services to help protect your home against electrical fires and other electrical problems.