How Can I Prevent Electrical Fires In My Home?

Posted on: 30 August 2016

Electrical fires can be both deadly and cause high damage, especially since your traditional fire sprinklers won't do much to stop the spread of these fires. There are many things that you can do around your house to make your space safer from electrical fires. 

Step 1: Do an Electrical Audit

If you have not had you home inspected recently for electrical issues or if you don't know the status and age of your electrical wiring, then have a residential electrician do a thorough inspection of your home. Electrical wiring is meant to be replaced every once in a while, since the cables can get frayed and small animals or pests can do damage to the wires.

You'll want to have the cabling inspected for any physical damage, but you also want to make sure that the wiring was installed correctly to begin with. Crossed, messy wires could be a fire hazard if a future technician gets confused about what goes to which outlet. Another thing that your electrician can look at is the safety and health of your circuit breakers. If they are worn down or if they are handling too great an amount of voltage, then you should consider replacing them with newer, higher-capacity models. 

Step 2: Protect Your Outlets

You'll also want to make sure that your outlets are being used safely. Surge protectors on all outlets can help to prevent a large amount of voltage from starting a fire. But so can limiting the amount of voltage that has to pass through any one outlet. If you're using multiple extension cords throughout your house, it may be time to consult a residential electrician to put in additional outlets and wiring. You could also get away with moving things around so that fewer appliances and electronics rely on any one outlet. 

Step 3: Be Aware of Fire Hazards

A final component of fire safety comes from being aware of the signs that an electrical fire is possible. Keep an eye on your electrical switches and outlets to make sure there is no visible deformity, such as charring at the edges. If your appliances give you a small shock as you turn them on, don't ignore it; call an electrician to make sure that you're safe. And if your circuit breaker goes out several times in the same week or month, consider having an electrician come out to make sure there's not a serious reason, such as a chewed-up wire that's causing a fire hazard.