Electrical Fire: Home electrical fires account for about 51,000 fires every year, almost more than 500 deaths, over 1400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. They may be caused by faulty outlets, old appliances, installing bulbs whose wattage is too high for light fixtures and lamps, extension cord misuse, short circuits, fake electrical products, and outdated or faulty wiring.
If your home is at risk of an electrical fire, your circuit breaker might keep tripping, persistent burnt smell without an identifiable source, multiple charred or discolored switches or outlets, or you have outdated wiring. This article outlines six tips for protecting your home from an electrical fire.
1. Choose suitable power breakers
A circuit breaker is a vital home safety device that automatically disrupts current flow when there’s an overload or a short circuit. This prevents electrical circuits, electronics, appliances, and your home from damage. Electrical overloads generate high heat amounts, potentially triggering electrocutions, burns, sparks, and fires. If your power breaker trips, it could mean that there’s a lot of current flowing through, the neutral and hot wires have fused, or a ruptured powerline.
With the correct circuit breaker, you can prevent electrical fires. Residential power breakers are designed differently. Knowing where you’ll install it, the breaker’s frame size, rated voltage, continuous current, interrupting capacity, and the poles numbers helps pick a circuit breaker suitable for your home.
2. Unplug heaters and other related appliances when not in use
Electrical heaters and other heating-generating appliances are common electrical fire causes. When left unattended for extended periods or malfunction, they catch fire. Unplugging electric kettles, irons, curling wands, heaters, and similar appliances when not in use can help curb this fire risk.
3. Consider regular electrical safety inspections
Regular and proper electrical safety inspections help identify the electrical components and wiring that have deteriorated over time, overloaded electrical circuits, lack of earthing, defective wiring, mistakes made through DIY electrical repairs or by non-certified electricians, oversized breakers, and fuses that may result in an electrical fire hazard and potentials shock risks. This allows you to do the necessary repairs and replacements on time before an electrical fire can break.
4. Avoid DIY electrical repairs
DIY electrical repairs not only cause bodily harm and death but also fires. This is because these repairs are best suited for professionals. Consider hiring experienced, reliable, insured, and licensed electrical technicians for all your electrical repairs and related tasks to keep fires at bay. Without the necessary skills and experience, you may commit mistakes that leave your home vulnerable to an electrical fire.
5. Install light fixtures with the right wattage
Incorrect light fixture installations can cause electrical fires. However, installing them while considering the recommended bulb wattage helps avoid such incidents. Always check your electrical socket’s wattage before plugging in your light fixtures. This ensures that the light fixtures don’t overload, alleviating an electrical fire. If the lights flicker or don’t light up, the switch could have a problem, so get it checked or replaced.
6. Follow appliance guidelines
Each appliance comes with an instruction manual. Reading your electrical appliances’ manuals, like toasters or microwaves, helps you understand the directions and warnings for preventing malfunction and fires.
Electrical fires can be detrimental to your home, the people living there, and your neighbors. Use these tips to protect your home from an electrical fire.
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