How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

The loss of property in a house fire is a devastating experience, and it’s not unusual for faulty electrical systems to start fires. The U.S. Fire Administration reports an estimated 24,000 electrical fires were reported each year from 2014 to 2016, and many of these could have been prevented with basic maintenance and repair of a few critical points in the system.

Check Your Outlets

Because they have no moving parts, electrical outlets are often assumed to be immune to wear and tear. But repeated use can wear out the gripping power of the metal contacts, and plugs are no longer held tightly. The loss of grip decreases the contact area between the plug blades and the contacts in the outlet, and that builds resistance and creates heat that can start a fire. A yearly check of electrical systems in a home can prevent this hazard.

Limit Use of Extension Cords

Extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution. A large number of fires are caused each year by homeowners using extension cords as a long-term solution for spots in a house with no outlets. If power is needed in a place where there are no outlets, the safe solution is to have an outlet professionally installed.

Replace Old Wiring

Outdated wiring is a very common source of electrical fires. With the increased number of electrical devices in modern homes, it is very important to have wiring with the capacity to handle home appliances, large televisions, air conditioners, and the typical household’s array of computers and gaming systems. If a home has wiring that was installed more than 20 years ago, it is worth having it checked by a professional.

The threat of electrical fire can be almost completely eliminated with the right information and preventive maintenance. For more information on safe electrical systems and replacement of outdated wiring and outlets, check out Mister Sparky® of Charleston online or give us a call at (843) 418-0696.