It’s safe to say that most of us depend heavily on electricity, and it’s easy to forget about the maze of wires hidden behind walls and ceilings. Most of the time, our appliances and other electronics work flawlessly and we barely notice what makes them work. However, ServiceMaster of Baltimore has responded to numerous electrical fire loss jobs, and we know how to help prevent electrical fires. Take some time to learn about common electrical fire causes, how to prevent them, and what to do if disaster strikes.
Common Causes of Electrical Fires in Homes
Faulty Electrical Outlets (Receptacles): Homes over 20 years old are at higher risk of electrical home fires because their wiring may not be configured to keep up with the increased electronics load in modern homes. If you live in an older home, it’s important to regularly inspect outlets and wiring to ensure they are in good working order. The most common cause of electrical house fires is faulty outlets. If you notice a loose outlet, it is a serious fire hazard that needs to be replaced quickly.
Overloaded Extension Cords and Power Strips: Many large appliances, like the oven and microwave, require a certain type of extension cord to prevent electrical fires. Using a standard extension cord on a large appliance poses a fire hazard because those appliances draw lots of power, and require shorter, thicker extension cords. Power strips also need to be plugged in to a wall and not into an extension cord due to a higher power draw.
Poor Maintenance: If a home has not been properly maintained, the risk of electrical fire increases. Ensure there are no kinked or twisted wires, as this generates more heat. Wiring requires specific coatings based on their intended use, and over time this coating can decay and expose wiring to its surroundings.
How to Prevent Electrical Fires
Electrical outlets need to be replaced if they are loose or show certain warning signs, such as:
- Excessively hot appliances or electronics
- Frequent circuit breaker flips
- Burning smell or excessive heat surrounding the receptacle
- Flickering or intermittent loss of power to the equipment
Performing regular maintenance and inspections from a qualified electrician is essential to preventing an electrical fire in your home.
You can also prevent electrical fires by avoiding overloading power strips, using the appropriate extension cords, and ensuring the existing wiring can handle the electrical demands of the equipment in your home.
What to Do After A Fire
Sometimes even the best prevention measures don’t stand up to chance. If you’ve found yourself dealing with an electrical fire loss, call ServiceMaster of Baltimore to get you back to a safe, clean environment. With our pack-out services, comprehensive water and smoke damage remediation services, and friendly customer service, we are the best equipped to help you get your life back. Don’t wait! Call us at 410-780-1700 today.