What You Should Know About Electrical Fire Risks
One of the greatest risks homeowners face is electrical fires. Electrical fires are responsible for property destruction and hundreds of injuries and fatalities every single year. Are you doing all you can to protect your family and home from each electrical fire hazard? Read today’s blog to find out how to reduce risk of electrical fire.
Electrical Outlets Can Be a Fire Hazard
One of the most common causes for electrical fires that we see is faulty outlets. The receptacles that line the walls of most homes are a prime electrical fire hazard because of how often they are used and how long they are left without an upgrade. All of that plugging in and pulling out causes wear and tear on the wiring behind your walls.
Even if your outlets look great on the outside, trouble might still be lurking behind the outlet. Get your outlets checked out regularly. Make sure they are still the best option for your electrical needs. Especially in older homes, you may have outlets that are too old to handle the power flow needed to run modern appliances. Get an upgrade to your old tired outlets. Whenever you notice something loosening over time, tighten it up.
Even Good Wiring Doesn’t Last Forever
The electrical wiring in your home is not meant to last forever. Just like food and fashion, electrical wiring has an expiration date. As the years go on, technology and power needs change. Electrical hardware becomes safer and more powerful. It makes sense to upgrade the electrical wiring in your home at least every twenty years.
If you are living in a home older than twenty years, get your wiring checked out by an electrician. Who knows what went on before you moved in? Ask for a professional and licensed electrician to do an electrical safety audit of all of the electrical wiring in your home and on the grounds. Also make sure your smoke alarm and other fire-prevention tools are still usable and are checked regularly.
Otherwise, look out for these tell-tale signs that something is wrong:
- You commonly trip the breaker or blow a fuse.
- Your power flickers or pauses regularly.
- Your wiring or appliances feel very hot.
Old Appliances and Devices May Overload Your Power
Just like the wiring in your home, the components in your appliances and devices can become more fragile over time. As safety and technology needs are more understood, our electrical appliances improve. Holding on to old appliances is a risk because they often have unsafe qualities that have since been regulated and improved upon. Updating appliances keeps the power flowing smoothly.
Don’t Overload an Outlet – Spread Out
Many families seem to have an electrical sweet spot somewhere in the home. It’s commonly found near computers, mirrors, kitchen counters or entertainment centers. These locations seem to attract a lot of devices, appliances and power needs. Plugging too many cords into a single outlet or power source is a prime reason for home fires. All of those cords are drawing too much power to one spot in your home.
Today’s homes are outfitted with several more outlets than homes of the past because our needs have grown. Spread out your power needs so you don’t cause an overload of power and heat to one spot in your home. If you use a lot of extension cords, stop! Also take care of your devices and cords. Don’t pull plugs out by the cord. Don’t let cords stay kinked, knotted and crushed. All of these small mistakes build up to make you more vulnerable to home fires.
Be Very Careful with Portable Heaters
Portable heaters are often necessary to get through harsh winters so we can’t rule them out completely. However, if you are using one, know the risks and have some ground rules. Never set up a heater near hanging curtains or too close to anything flammable. Even setting a heater on a rug is a bad idea — the rug could ignite or the heater could fall over. Spend money on a well-made safe model from a name you trust and never leave a running heater unattended.
Reduce Risk of Electrical Fire
The best way to reduce risk of electrical fire is to have an electrical safety audit. Whenever you move into a new place, have a licensed electrician check out the existing wiring. Upgrade anything that needs it.
Hiring a professional electrician takes the worry out of completing repairs and upgrades in your home or business. Afton Electric specializes in residential and commercial electric work, including custom electrical projects, home automation, new construction and commercial electrical installation in New Braunfels and Comal County. Call us today for an estimate on your electrical project.