According to the latest data available, electrical fires account for around 34,000 residential blazes a year.
Your home insurance won't pay compensation for an electrical fire unless you can prove that it wasn't caused by negligence. Even if you do get paid out for the damages, you can never replace everything you lose in a fire like heirloom pieces or sentimental items.
So, the big question is, 'how do I prevent electrical fires in my home?'.
Learn how to prevent an electrical fire here.
What Causes Electrical Fires?
Electrical fires happen when an electrical wire or appliance emits a spark that causes something nearby to ignite like drywall, wooden flooring, a rug, or curtains.
The main causes of electrical fires are faulty wiring, poor installation, or wear and tear.
These are the early warning signs of an electrical fire in the making:
Breakers that trip often
Heat in appliances or walls
Fuses that blow all the time
Dimming or flickering lights
A burning smell when you switch appliances on
Discolored electrical outlets
According to Power One Electric, Corp, any of the above constitutes an emergency. You should get expert help immediately.
Don't let it come down to that though, rather stay safe with these simple commonsense tips for preventing electrical fires.
How to Prevent Electrical Fires
The main way to avoid electrical fires is by treating electricity with absolute respect. Never DIY any home electrical work that's more advanced than changing a lightbulb.
A reputable, licensed electrician knows how to check for faults, ensure your home's up to code, and keep your family safe from electrical fires.
If you move into an older home, always get a professional to evaluate the wiring. Homes that have been around for more than 15 years are prone to faulty, worn-out wiring.
Pay attention to your breakers, they're there to protect you. Upgrading your breaker to a more powerful version can cause overheating and lead to disaster. If your breakers trip frequently, call an electrician.
Invest in an AFCI. This is an advanced type of circuit breaker that cuts the power when it detects electricity flowing through the air.
Electrical Safety Do's and Don'ts
No matter how great your house's wiring and safety features, there are still a few things you should not do if you want to say safe. These are:
Overloading extension cords and power strips
Using appliances near water
Plugging major appliances like fridges into an extension cord
Using appliances with damaged or cracked wiring
Electrical fires start more easily than you think, pay attention to the warning signs mentioned above, and when in doubt, get help immediately.
How to Prevent an Electrical Fire by Staying Alert
Keep these tips on how to prevent an electrical fire top of mind at all times if you want to avoid unwittingly destroying your home.
Electrical fire safety isn't something that's done and dusted after a few precautions. Constant vigilance is the key to staying safe as you go about your daily tasks.
If you'd like to discover some more tips or information on everyday issues, keep browsing our website.