Electrical Fires 101: The Ultimate Guide Towards Electrical Service And Protecting Your Home | Hurst, TX

Electrical Fires 101: The Ultimate Guide Towards Electrical Service And Protecting Your Home | Hurst, TX

Most homeowners know that using worn extension cords or overloading the electrical circuits in their homes is dangerous. You may be surprised to discover that you could be doing things that you perceive to be safe but are very dangerous. Between 2017 and 2019, residential fires led to an estimated 2,770 fatalities. Therefore, it’s crucial to know what precautions you should take to prevent electrical fires.

Common Causes of Electrical Fires in Hurst, Texas

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country’s electricity consumption stood at approximately 3.8 trillion kWh in 2020, 13 times greater than the total consumption in 1950. Most of us assume that our home’s electrical systems are perfect because we use them daily without any issues. However, electricity poses a constant fire risk. Therefore, you should schedule inspections with a licensed electrical service contractor. Some of the most common causes of residential electrical fires in Hurst, TX include:

Old Wiring

Most aspiring homeowners prefer older homes as most of them are sturdier, have more character, and larger lot sizes compared to newer homes. When it comes to a home’s electrical wiring, old is not always good.

For instance, electrical standards, codes, and designs have changed dramatically over time. Older wiring was rated for lower amperage compared to what modern appliances use.

If you buy an older home, have the electrical system checked by a qualified electrical contractor. This will help you know whether to upgrade or redo the wiring altogether. Also, have them perform a wiring audit every few years.

Faulty or Defective Wiring

Although this may be caused by incompetent electrical service contractors, DIYs are often the number one cause. Your wiring’s insulation may also have disintegrated or gotten damaged by pets, rodents, and thus exposing wires that could cause a fire.

Protect your home from fires by ensuring that you hire a licensed and insured electrical service company to carry out all electricity-related jobs, no matter how small.

Electrical Appliances

While appliances such as air conditioners, dishwashers, dryers, ironing boxes, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, stoves, and toasters make work easier, they are also potential fire hazards. This is particularly true for older appliances that lack safety features such as self-regulating heating features, temperature controls, auto-off controls, and so on.

Residential electrical fires caused by appliances may be due to product defects or erroneous use. Product defects include poor heat insulation and overheating caused by poor wiring designs or low-quality components. Erroneous use of appliances includes:

  • Failing to keep combustible materials away from fire-causing appliances
  • Buying low-quality appliances
  • Not adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install, use, and store an appliance
  • Continuing to use a damaged appliance
  • Using extension cords that are either too long or too small

One of the ways through which you can avoid fires caused by home appliances is by keeping them clean. For appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, fireplaces, and so on, you might want to have an electrical service contractor clean them. Never leave electrical appliances unattended. Also, unplug them when they are not in use.

Electrical Overload

Every electrical appliance or fixture in your home uses a specific amount of electric current when it is in use. When you switch on multiple appliances or fixtures, you add on to the load on the circuit. In most cases, an overload will cause the breaker to trip, thus shutting off the circuit’s power supply, thus preventing a fire. In the absence of a breaker, the wiring could overheat, melt, and cause a fire. Signs that you may be overloading your electricity circuits include:

  • Dimming or flickering lights
  • Buzzing sounds on switches or outlets
  • Burning smells or scorch marks on switches and other outlet covers

To avoid circuit overload, avoid using all your electrical appliances at the same time. An electrical service contractor may also recommend that you upgrade your home’s electrical system if the problem persists.

Faulty or Loose Electrical Outlets

With time, outlets and switches become older and looser. Also, the wiring behind them is bound to deteriorate. This deterioration causes what is referred to as an arc fault which is a potential fire hazard. What’s dangerous about such a fire is that it starts inside the walls where it is less noticeable.

If it becomes too easy to plug in or unplug cords into your home’s electrical outlets and switches, it may be time to have an electrical service contractor inspect and replace them. Avoid using such outlets until they are fixed.

Portable Heaters

With winter’s chilling cold, portable or space heaters are a welcome source of heat in homes. Most of us prefer portable heaters as they help us save money and energy as they will only heat the space we are in. However, their compact nature has a downside: It is easy to place them too close to beds, couches, chairs, clothing, curtains, and rugs. This explains why space heaters, especially those with a coil as the heating element, are a leading cause of residential fires.

Avoid leaving your portable heater running for extended periods. Also, only place it where you can keep an eye on it. Never use your portable to dry off wet clothes.

Light Fixtures

Using bulbs with wattage that is higher than your fixtures will not only overheat your space but may also cause a fire. As different fixtures in your home have varying requirements, always consult your preferred electrical service contractor to determine what wattage would be ideal. Avoid placing flammable materials near bulbs. This is also true when it comes to lampshades.

Assess Your Hurst, TX, Home’s Fire Safety with Tioga Contractors

Although residential electrical fires are quite rampant, you can prevent them. Our skilled technicians will identify, diagnose, and rectify any electricity-related problems before they worsen. Hiring a licensed Hurst, TX, electrical service not only safeguards your property but also ensures that you comply with building and electrical codes. Get in touch with us today to schedule a professional electrical inspection with our electrical service team.

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