5 reasons for electrical fires

May 20, 2016



1. The most common cause of an electrical fire are faulty outlets that are not maintained. That, combined with faulty appliances that are long past their used by date. Other fires are started by faults in , receptacles, switches and appliance cords. We strongly recommend, never use any electrical appliance with a worn cord that generates heat, and avoid keeping near rugs, curtains etc, as they are also common causes of fire. A common problem is running cords under rugs. Avoid! 

2. Lights. This comes in all shapes and forms including fixtures, lamps and light bulbs. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. It’s very important to check the recommended wattage on any light fixtures or lamps first. Never exceed the recommendation. 

Another cause of fire is placing materials like cloth or paper over a lampshade. The material heats up and ignites, causing a fire. Faulty lamps and light fixtures also frequently result in fires.

3. Double adaptors. You may have seen our recent post on the danger of overloading power boards with double adaptors. The biggest concern is that most consider this a safe practice, but even the use of a double adaptor directly into an outlet is not a recommended practice. 

4. Space heaters are a major cause of electrical fires. Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface. If you do use space heaters, use the radiator-type that diffuse heat over the entire surface of the appliance. These are less likely to ignite flammable items, but should still be kept away from them.

5. Old wiring. Don’t forget, many people live in homes over 20 years old, in a time when we didn’t have smartphones, iPads, multiple TVs, two fridges, and so on. These homes weren’t built with 2016 technology in mind. It’s important to check up on your house wiring with a professional if this is the case. 


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