Causes of An Electrical Fire

 In Electrical Fire Safety, Fire Alarms, Fire Safety, News

An electrical fire can be difficult to identify which makes them more dangerous and destructive than other types of fires.  Knowing how an electrical fire start can help you take actions to prevent them from occurring.  Here are the most common causes of electrical fires.

Extension cords

Always insert plugs directly into the wall when possible, and only use extension cords as a temporary measure.  If you need an extension cord to power an everyday device in your home, have an electrician install an outlet instead.  Never run cords of any kind under rugs or carpet.  Replace damaged or frayed cords immediately.

Old Appliances and Faulty Outlets

Old appliances use a lot of power and can have frayed or damaged cords that pose an extra risk of igniting a blaze.  Newer appliances are more efficient, which can save you money on your electric bill.  Don’t modify a three-prong plug!  The third prong is there to prevent you from using it on an outlet that can’t handle the extra energy needed for the appliance.  Removing it will increase the chance of a fire.

Light Fixtures

Lamps and other light fixtures are another cause for an electrical fire.  Installing a bulb with a higher wattage than the recommended maximum creates a risk for igniting a fire.  Never place paper or cloth that could ignite over a lampshade.  Faulty lamps and light fixtures can also result in fires.

Space Heaters

Space heaters usually cause an electrical fire because they are set too close to a combustible surface such as curtains or clothing.  It is better to use the radiator-type that diffuses heat over the entire surface of the device because they are less likely to ignite objects.  Use a heater only as directed and don’t leave a unit running when you aren’t present.


Outdated wiring often causes an electrical fire.  Older homes may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased number of electrical devices used in homes today.  The outdated breaker boxes may have worn connectors that can cause the system to overload and start a fire. The wiring should be checked if circuit breakers overload frequently, lights flicker, or electrical devices feel excessively hot.

It’s important to conduct an electrical safety inspection on a regular basis so that preventative measures can be taken to avoid a fire.  Call Fire Control Systems today to have smoke detectors installed and tested to ensure everyone’s safety in the event of an electrical fire.

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