4 Common Causes of Electrical Fires That You Should Avoid
With the ever-growing number of devices and equipment that run on electricity, electrical fires have become a common occurrence in residential homes. If you’re living in an old house for quite some time, you must know that it becomes more susceptible to an electrical malfunction, mainly because of the wear and tear in places that are out of sight.
Luckily, electrical fires can be easily prevented by just looking for the signs of poor and faulty electrical wiring in your home. While it’s always better to have a professional electrician inspect your home, it pays to know what are the usual causes of electrical fires. Here are just a few of them:
Worn-Out Electrical Outlets and Wires
As outlets and switches get loose and more run-down, so is the wiring behind it. Those worn-out wires are more likely to break and cause a fire if left unattended. If you happen to come across a couple of frayed electrical wires, it needs to be replaced immediately to avoid any accidents.
The same goes for your extension cords. Make sure not to overload your extension cord by using all the outlets at the same time—that’s a fire hazard waiting to happen! If you encounter any of these problems, call your electrician as soon as possible to rectify the situation.
Old and Malfunctioning Appliances
If you're one of the proud owners of a toaster from the 1960s, don't celebrate just yet. Those old appliances may look cool, and they may seem somewhat functional—but they're not safe to use. Those instruments from the distant past are not up to modern safety standards.
The materials used in manufacturing them are also too outdated that it might just cost you more to use them. As such, it’s best to avoid using them altogether or just replace them with new ones.
When installing a light fixture, you would do well to understand that not all light bulbs are compatible with every fixture. The first thing you should avoid when doing DIY bulb replacements is to not use a high-wattage bulb with an incompatible lamp. On the other hand, covering a lamp with a makeshift cloth lampshade is also a big no-no!
Always double-check the wattage before installing new light bulbs. If you’re not sure about what wattage of the bulb to use, you can always ask assistance from the local hardware store about the right bulbs and fixtures to use.
Overloaded Electrical Panels
An electrical panel, breaker box, or fuse box are essentially the same thing—but with slight differences. Their main purpose is to regulate the flow of electricity and prevent it from overloading. If your electrical panel is already decades old, you should consider replacing it. An outdated fuse box or electrical panel will start to show signs of malfunctioning where you need to flip the breakers more than you should.
Most of the problems above have something to do with old and dated equipment, which emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance and replacement of your electrical equipment. Never use electronics with frayed, broken, or worn-out wires and cords. Lastly, be mindful of installing light bulbs and other electrical fixtures without checking their compatibility.
If you need help from a professional electrician, DHT Electrical can help! Our experienced electrical technicians are trained in installing, maintaining, and repairing all manner of electrical systems. We offer residential and commercial electrical services in Ontario and surrounding areas. Contact us to set up an appointment today!