The National Fire Protection Association notes that electrical-related fires are one of the leading causes of home fires in the US. While electrical fires are preventable, they can be challenging to deal with because they happen so suddenly and can spread quickly. However, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help prevent electrical fires from happening in the first place.
1. Understand the Causes of Electrical Fires
Most electrical fires are caused by some sort of electrical failure. This can include things like overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, damaged cords, faulty electrical panel, and even unprofessional installations. Handling electrical systems without the proper knowledge or tools can also cause fires, especially when doing home renovations or repairs. Mistakes like exposing live wires or not following the proper safety procedures when using electronics can also easily lead to a fire.
That’s why experts specializing in electrical panel installation in Orlando, FL, recommend having all your electrical installations, upgrades, and renovations done by a professional. This way, you can be sure that your electrical system is up to code and that there are no loose connections.
2. Follow Safety Guidelines to Prevent Electrical Fires
There are a few simple safety guidelines that you can follow to help prevent an electrical fire in your home. This is especially important when you have kids and pets in your home. For example:
- Always make sure to plug appliances and electronics into outlets that are not overloaded
- Avoid running cords and wires under rugs or furniture, as this can damage them and cause a fire
- Inspect all your electrical cords and wires regularly for any signs of damage, such as fraying or cracks
- Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home to be prepared in case of an electrical fire
- Use space heaters with caution, as they’re one of the most common causes of electrical fires in the home.
- Keep flammable materials like curtains, newspapers, and clothes at least three feet away from electrical appliances
- Secure loose wires by taping them down or using cord shorteners
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any electrical appliance
3. Invest in Circuit Breakers and Surge Protectors
One of the best ways to prevent electrical fires is by investing in circuit breakers and surge protectors. Circuit breakers are devices installed in your electrical panel that help prevent overloaded circuits. Surge protectors, on the other hand, help to protect your electronics from power surges. Power surges can occur for various reasons, such as lightning strikes, power outages, or even faulty wiring.
Investing in these two devices can help prevent electrical fires before they even have a chance to start. A whole-house surge protector is a great investment for any home as it protects your entire home. With all the modern appliances and electronics in our homes these days, it’s more important than ever to protect them from power surges.
4. Regularly Inspect Your Wiring, Lighting, and Electrical Equipment
Most homeowners neglect their wiring and electrical equipment until something goes wrong. However, it’s important to regularly inspect the wiring and all major electrical equipment to ensure that everything is in good working condition. Flickering lights, burning smells on power outlets, and sparking are signs of an issue with your wiring. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to contact a professional electrician right away to do an electrical safety inspection.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
With so much going on in an average home, it’s easy to overlook potential electrical hazards. Whether you’re experiencing frequent flickering lights, power outages, hot outlets or switches, or sparks when you plug in an appliance, these are all warning signs that your home’s electrical system may be in danger.
Ignoring these signs can lead to much bigger problems, including electrical fires that could put your family at risk and cause significant damage to your home. It’s always better to be safe and contact a professional electrician for an inspection and repairs if needed instead of waiting until it’s too late.