6 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

As claimed by the U.S Fire Administration, more than 1,300 people get injuries or die because of 25,000 electrical fires which are annually reported in the United States. As an electrician it’s important to know that these causes can be triggered by house electrical distributions like light bulbs, cords, plugs, lamps, switches or wiring. Electrical fires are very dangerous and below are some ways an electrician can apply in order to avoid them.


Keeping flammable materials at a distance


Electrical appliances like portable electric space heaters, hair dryers, lamps and irons can become quite dangerous and ignite a fire if they come in contact with flammable materials like rugs, towels and blankets. Extension cords which are kept or hidden under rugs, when overheated, can ignite fire easily.

When water comes in contact with cords it can cause a spark leading to electrical fire. It’s better to keep electrical cords away from water. One way to do this is keeping cables and power tools above water level at all times when they are not in use.


Electrical inspection, installation, repairing


Contact an emergency electrician for inspection when it comes to older homes. Old homes tend to have old wiring which needs to be updated. Aluminum wiring is more susceptible to catch fire than copper wiring, which is why the Copper Development Association recommends modern homes to have 12 AWG (American Wire Gauge) copper wiring to meet the demands of modern appliances.

A licensed electrician ensures wiring is done according to the electrical safety codes, preventing injuries during installation for the workers and faulty installation which can be done by less-qualified individuals.


Inspection of power tools regularly


You should stop using these tools when you realize they start to shock you on contact, smoke, they start giving off a burning smell and keep overheating. When they start to wear and tear, replace them or stop using them until they are properly repaired and maintained.

Insulation of power tools is also quite important. When they are cut, cracked or nicked, they increase the risk of injuries since they become sort of electrical conductors. Destroy and replace damaged insulation for safety purposes.


Overloading electrical outlet


Plugging many appliances into a single power board or power point exceeds the recommended level of amperage and is the main reason for short circuit, and causing electrical fires. Power strips which have internal overload protection are recommended because once a power strip is overloaded, it shuts down immediately.


Electrical short and wiring problems


An electrician is best suited when it comes to fixing faulty wiring and shorts. Some indicators of faulty wiring can be plugs sparking when something is plugged in, flickering lamps and breakers constantly tripping. All these can cause fire quickly by causing a spark.


Using GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection


Because they shut down immediately whenever a circuit is at risk or overloaded, GFCI can assist in preventing electrical fires. Be certain to have GFCI receptacles installed only, and if any grounding needs may come up, just have portable GFCIs available just in case.

In order to make sure that your house is safe from electrical fires, you can consult your electrician on some questions like is the wiring in my home safe? What circumstances can compromise electrical safety in my home and what changes if any, should you make to keep your home safe.

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