As a homeowner, electrical fires are probably far from your mind. Unfortunately, they happen far too often. Part of why they happen so frequently is because so many homeowners don't understand what causes them. If you don't know what can cause electrical fires, or you're not familiar with what to look for in your home, this article is for you. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of household electrical fires that you need to know about.
Incorrect Bulbs in Light Fixtures
If you replace the bulb in a light fixture with a bulb that's a higher wattage than what the fixture is rated to withstand, it can overload the fixture and cause an electrical fire. That's why it is always important to know what every electrical fixture in your house is rated for before you put a new bulb in it. Choose bulbs that are rated at the same wattage as the fixture's rating.
If you haven't replaced the appliances in the house since you moved in, they may be far too old to be safe for your electrical system. Older appliances don't have the same safety features that newer models have, which makes them an electrical fire risk in your home. All it takes is a single short in the appliance to trigger a fire. It's in your best interest to upgrade all of your appliances to prevent this.
You may find that you have some faulty outlets in the house if the wiring in your home wasn't done to code, is particularly old, or has been damaged by rodents. If you've noticed that plugging things in leads to sparks in the outlet or that the plugs seem to fall out of the outlet, this is a sign that the wiring on those outlets may be faulty. You can avoid the potential of electrical fires by hiring a residential electrician to rewire the outlets for you.
Improper Extension Cord Use
While extension cords are great for many purposes, they are not always the safest option. Many homeowners make the mistake of overloading their extension cords, which can overheat the cord and potentially lead to an electrical fire. Make sure that if you're using extension cords, you only plug in what is absolutely necessary. Also, refrain from plugging in anything that demands more power than the extension cord is rated for.