3 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

3 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

Electrical fires race through homes with no warning. Few stay isolated to the area of the initial damage. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2017, fires caused 3,400 deaths, more than 14,000 injuries, and $23 billion in losses. Electrical malfunctions are the reason for 6.5% of all fires. Protect your family and property by taking a proactive stance on fire prevention. Here are three ways to prevent electrical fires in your home.

Update Your Home’s Electrical Systems

If you live in an older home, its electrical service capacity may not match the needs of modern electrical appliances and equipment, like smart refrigerators and computers. Most modern homes require 100-amp service, a higher capacity than the 60-amp service in homes built before the ‘60s. Upgrading to 200 amp electrical service capacity may provide the electricity that your home requires while allowing your family enough room to increase your electrical usage safely in the future.

Electrical wiring is not meant to last. Your home’s electrical system requires regular maintenance and upgrades. Many homes built between the ‘60s and ‘70s have hazardous aluminum wiring. Prior to the ‘60s, most electrical wiring also lacks proper insulation. In addition, your home’s wiring might not meet current code standards which help prevent dangerous fires. Hire an electrician to inspect your current electrical system. If necessary, replace defective wiring and upgrade to ensure code compliance. 

Keep Electrical Conduits in Working Order

Electricity is dangerous if improperly handled. Cover all wiring and components by replacing broken or missing plates. Don’t overload outlets with multiple electrical appliances. Ensure electrical cords are in good repair, not tacked to walls or placed where people walk. Replace any damaged or cracked cords, and only use extension cords temporarily. Ensure all bulbs match the fixture’s wattage. Your ability to keep your family safe from an electrical fire is directly related to the time that you spend on safety. Make sure that electricity flows through conduits which are in good condition and properly installed.

Prevention is key to ensuring electricity doesn’t cause a fire. Use surge protectors to protect appliances. Replace or repair any appliances that constantly trip circuit breakers. Ask a professional, like Arctic Air, Plumbing and Electrical Services to check light switches which are hot to the touch or make buzzing noises when you flip the switch. Keep space heaters and other electrical appliances away from flammable fabrics. Electrical fires are preventable if you pay attention to the warning signs.

Fix Circuit Breaker Hazards

3 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

Image via Flickr by U.S. Army

Your circuit breaker box requires frequent maintenance. However, most homeowners don’t even think about the circuit breakers, until there is an electrical accident. Overloaded circuits can cause hazardous conditions. Ensure your breakers match the electrical panel’s amp capacity. If ignored, a homeowner may hear buzzing, see sparks, or have no warning at all before a fire begins spreading. Make sure your electrician sorts the circuits, labeling which circuits connect to specific outlets in your home. Sorting will help pinpoint which circuit breaker has a problem if lights flicker or sparks fly in a particular room.

Follow these steps to prevent electrical fires and ensure the safety of your loved ones. 

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