Home electrical fires account for nearly 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. As a homeowner, it is crucial to protect not just your home, but your family too. When talking about home electrical fires, the best way to stop them is to take preventative steps to ensure security for years to come.
1. Have your wiring inspected
It may seem like a hassle, but having your electrical wiring inspected is so important. You should schedule a visit from your electrician if you are experiencing any of the following:
Unexpected heat, sounds, or smell coming from outlets and switches is a big sign that you need an inspection.
Older houses are more prone to have problems. After years of use, your home's wiring becomes frayed, rusty, and unsafe if it isn't checked up on. Deteriorated electrical is seriously dangerous because the protective exterior of a cable protects the surrounding areas from the heat of the current. And when that exterior is damaged from erosion, flames could spark on surrounding materials.
2. Practice safety with your plugs and outlets
Never force plugs into outlets.
Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
Loose fitting plugs could be a fire hazard.
Ensure all outlets have wall plates attached.
3. Install surge protectors
As the name suggests, a surge protector is a device that protects other devices from voltage spikes in AC currents. Without proper surge protection, a voltage spike can cause a fire.
4. Follow precautions when using lights
There are many precautions you should take when it comes to your home's lighting
Never exceed the recommended wattage for light fixtures. House fires commonly start when you put a higher wattage bulb than the lamp socket is capable of holding.
Be aware of what you put on your lamp shades. Cloth, paper, or other flammable materials could cause electrical fires.
Leave space around the lamp. When surrounded by many materials, the formation of flames can spark a house fire.
5. Be aware of your circuit breakers/fuses
Make sure you check that your circuit breakers are working properly. You can use a multimeter voltage tester to check your breakers, as a bad breaker may show no evidence that it isn't working properly.
In addition, your fuses should be properly rated for the circuit they are protecting. A fuse operates to provide overcurrent protection of an electrical circuit, so when it is overloaded with power, it will heat up and cause a fire.
You may also need to replace and increase the capacity of your electrical service if you have been upgrading your home with more lighting and appliances.
Safety in your home is always your #1 priority and it is ours, too. By following these steps, you are ensuring safety, security, and many memories to come. If you need help, feel free to give SHEWORKS Home Remodeling & Electrical a call to solve any of your home electrical needs!