Few things are as devastating as having a fire destroy your home. Fires rage quickly and don’t discriminate. Everyone’s at risk.

To keep your home and your loved ones safe, it’s important to learn fire safety.

In this article, we’ll focus on electrical fires and how you can prevent them in your home.

What Causes an Electrical Fire?

There are some telltale scenarios that result in electrical fires more often than not. Some things that are typically the cause include:

Faulty Outlets and Appliances

A majority of electrical fires are caused by old, faulty outlets or outdated appliances.

So before using that old microwave you picked up at a yard sale, check out the cord and look for signs of wear. If it’s frayed, you’re at risk for an electrical fire — all it takes is a little contact with a combustible surface.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are portable and popular not just at home but in the workplace. They’re also extremely dangerous if used incorrectly.  If placed too close to a rug, bed, or other furniture it could ignite.

If using a space heater, avoid models with coils as these tend to be more of a fire hazard.

Extension Cords

If you have any appliances plugged into an extension cord as a long-term solution, you’re in danger of a fire. Extension cords are not meant to be used as a permanent solution, rather they should be a temporary measure.

To reduce your risk of a fire, ensure your appliances are plugged directly into your outlets.

Signs You’re at Risk

There are often signs you should look out for that indicate a potential fire hazard. Pay attention to:

A Circuit Breaker that Keeps Tripping

Your circuit breaker cuts off the flow of electricity to prevent overheating and lower your chances of a catastrophe. If it keeps tripping it’s trying to tell you something.  Either too much electricity is being pulled into one circuit, resulting in an electrical overload, there’s a short circuit or your breaker is not working correctly.

Each of these is a dire issue that needs to be corrected by a professional to reduce your chance of an electrical fire.

Any Charred Outlets

Faulty wiring can cause sparks. You’ll see evidence of this in the form of charred or discolored outlets.

Check out your outlets for any signs of discolorization and call an electrician if you spot any signs that signal faulty wiring.

Older Wiring in Your Home

How old is your home? If it’s over 40 years old and you haven’t had the wiring updated since you moved in, it’s time to get it done. The issue is that older homes and new appliances don’t mix.

When your original wiring was done many of the appliances you use today didn’t exist. Make sure your wiring is adept at handling your modern appliances.

Tips for Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to electrical fires. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by having your electrical wiring inspected, not overloading your outlets and using surge protectors, which prevent appliances from sparking in the event of a power surge.

Knowing the warning signs and following these tips for prevention will help reduce your risk of an electrical fire. If you’re unsure about the safety of your home’s electrical system, contact us today.