Electricity is the lifeblood of our modern world. We use it every day to power our lights, appliances, and even cars. If something goes wrong with this vital energy source, we are often left in the dark. Many people wonder how do electrical fires start. Luckily, there are a few common causes of electrical fires that can be avoided. Here are the five most common causes of electrical fires that occur in homes, apartments, or commercial properties.
Faulty Electrical Outlets
There are more than 60 million electrical outlets in the United States alone. That’s a lot of outlets. Unfortunately, all of these outlets have the potential to malfunction and cause a fire. An electrical outlet may become loose, or damaged over time in the most common form. This can result in a short circuit that causes a spark and fire.
- The outlet is not working
- Burn marks or melting
- Plugs fall out of the outlet easily
- The outlet is hot to the touch
- Smoke smell
- Visible sparks from the outlet
- Flickering power
Outdated or Worn-out Electrical Wiring
When you suspect your electrical wiring is not up to date, the first thing to do is make sure that there are no exposed wires. If you have any exposed wires, use a wire stripper to cut them off at the outlet or switch. It is also important to note that if your electrical wiring has been in place for years and is old and worn out, it may be time to replace it.
- Frequent full power outages
- Flickering lights
- Excessive heat from appliances
- Burning smell linger around the home
- Sparks or shocks from appliances and outlets
Electrical Circuit Overloads
What can cause an electrical fire? This is a prevalent cause. When too much electricity passes through a circuit, it can overheat and ignite. This can happen during normal use, or when something is accidentally turned on while another device is plugged in. The best way to prevent an overload is to avoid using the same circuit for multiple devices at once.
Light fixtures are one of the most common causes of electrical fires. If a bulb burns out, or is damaged in any way, it can lead to a fire. A broken light fixture can also be dangerous because it can fall on someone, causing serious injury or death. This is why it’s essential to change light bulbs as soon as they burn out.
Portable heaters are a great way to warm up at home, but they can also be dangerous. The risk of an electrical fire is present with even the smallest portable heaters. These devices are made of flammable plastic, which can easily catch on fire if not used safely. Always make sure that the heater is completely turned off when you’re not using it at home. You should also bring it out to a well-ventilated area away from combustible materials.
The above are just a few of what is the most common causes of electrical fires. If you suspect a problem with your electrical wiring, it is essential to contact an electrician immediately. This is a very dangerous situation that can result in a severe fire.
Knowing these causes of electrical fires can help you avoid fire damage to your home. U&S Companies provides fire damage restoration services in Michigan and has seen the damage that electrical fires cause to homes and properties. We hope these tips help avoid these dangerous situations that can result in a severe fire.