Having an electrical fire in your home can be a devastating — and expensive — experience. In the United States alone, nearly 45,000 electrical fires are reported annually, resulting in hundreds of deaths and more than $1 billion in repair costs. These five causes are responsible for most of the electrical fires occurring in homes across the country.
1. Faulty Electrical Panels and Wiring
A common cause of electrical fires in older homes is outdated outlets and wiring that are not designed for the higher electrical needs of today’s devices and appliances. In homes that have been around longer than two decades, an electrical panel replacement or rewiring may be necessary to ensure that the home can handle your current electrical needs. Our professional electricians at Economy Lighting and Electrical do a thorough evaluation of the electrical panel and related conduits to present you with a plan that meets all Camarillo, CA codes and regulations.
2. Faulty Appliances
Appliances that are not working properly are a serious fire hazard. Shorts in wires, plugs, or switches cause sparks that can ignite the appliance or the surrounding area. Appliance cords that are worn or damaged can overheat to dangerous levels, which will also increase the risk of a fire occurring.
3. Ungrounded Plugs
Many large appliances have a third prong on their plugs that is designed to only be used in higher wattage outlets that can handle the electrical requirements of the appliance. Circumventing the use of this third prong so the plug can be used in a two-prong outlet will overload the outlet and raise the chances of a devastating electrical fire.
4. Using High-Wattage Light Bulbs
Light fixtures have a recommended wattage for the bulbs used in the fixture to ensure that the bulb will not overload and overheat the fixture. While using a higher wattage bulb may seem appealing for the additional light it will provide, using a bulb that exceeds the recommended wattage will also drastically increase the chances of a fire occurring in the fixture.
5. Overloaded Outlets and Extension Cords
Different types of outlets and extension cords are designed to be used for differing electrical needs. Overloading outlets and extension cords for uses they are not designed for often results in an electrical failure that can cause a fire. Check the rating on an extension cord’s label to see how many amps or watts it can carry safely.
Every homeowner should be aware of the dangers that these common causes of electrical fires pose to their homes and families. Our electricians at Economy Lighting and Electrical can help you determine whether your wiring is old or unsafe. We’ll help you create a plan to remedy any issues we find. For more information, contact us today.