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How to Prevent Electrical Fires

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Nothing is more important than your family's safety. That's why you need to make every effort to identify and eliminate fire risks in and around your home, particularly in your electrical work. Faulty wiring, delayed maintenance or carelessness can lead to a disaster that can cost you your home and endanger your life. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of electrical fires and how you can prevent them.

Power in Percentages

The estimated average of home fires due to electrical failure or malfunction each year between 2015-2019 was 46,700, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Those fires resulted in an average of 390 deaths, 1,330 injuries, and approximately $1.5 billion in damage. Clearly, the stakes are high in making sure that the electrical work is safely installed in your home.

Here are some other important statistics from NFPA:

  • Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of electrical home fires in 2015–2019 accounting for 13% of home structure fires.
  • Three in ten fires (30%) involving electrical failure or malfunction occurred in the cold weather months from November through February.
  • Arcing served as the heat source in over three in five fires (63%) of home fires involving an electrical failure or malfunction in 2015–2019.

According to NFPA, 68% of home fires caused by “electrical distribution and/or lighting systems” were due to wiring and related equipment, 14% lamp (lighting or bulb), 41% cord or plug, and 18% transformers or power supplies.

Electrical fires can also be caused by fans, washers and dryers, space heaters, air conditioning, water heaters, and stove top ranges.

Don't Become a Statistic: Learn How to Prevent Electrical Fires in the Home

The good news is that electrical fires have declined steadily since the 1980s. Modern technologies and building techniques have lowered the risk of fire and kept everyone safer. However, there's no reason to be complacent when it comes to safety. To decrease your risk of falling victim to a fire caused by your electrical system, follow these tips:

  • Be sure that only qualified electricians perform electrical work on your home and that they comply with all local building code ordinances and safety standards.
  • If you have outdated electrical work like knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, you should seriously consider having it replaced.
  • Inspect all cords and plugs and dispose of any that show signs of wear, cracking or fraying.
  • Make sure you aren't overloading any of your outlets or power strips with too many appliances.
  • Avoid extension cords for more than a temporary solution.
  • Keep flammable material far away from any electric heat sources such as halogen or incandescent light bulbs, stovetops, coffee makers and heating equipment.
  • If one of your fuses or circuits is getting tripped repeatedly, have it inspected and check out the appliances in the room in question before you flip it back on.

Also consider smart technology such as Ting, that can alert you before a fire starts. Read more about smart technology and electrical safety in this article.

Keeping Your Family Secure from Electrical Fire Risks

Stay vigilant about maintaining your electrical equipment and follow all safety recommendations to reduce your risk to a minimum. If you are concerned that your home is at risk of fire, have a qualified electrician inspect your electrical work and point out any danger areas without delay.

Kitchen fires are another risk to be aware of in the home. Learn more in this article.

Check out the fire safety tips in this article, such as creating a family evacuation plan, testing smoke detectors regularly, and more.

Contact your Mister Sparky electrician for a full home safety assessment to help ensure your property and family is safe from these electrical hazards. Call 888-8SPARKY today!

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