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Leading Causes of Electrical Fires

Jul 22, 2013 02:21PM ● By tina

Outdated appliances are one of the leading causes of home electrical fires.

Sponsored by TLC Electrical

Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of home fires in the United States. Every year, they kill over 280 people, injure more than 1,000, and cause over one billion dollars in property damage. Electricity is unpredictable when improperly handled, and neglecting electrical safety with professional service could affect your family and your finances. Here’s a look at the leading causes of electrical fires:

Outlets & Appliances

Faulty electrical wiring is the cause in over half of the estimated 26,100 annual home fires. Electrical fires often start not because of blatant negligence or mishandling, but due to faulty outlets or outdated appliances. Over time, insulated wire can crack due to simple weathering or pests. The exposed wires can then arc electricity, resulting in temperatures over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit that can easily ignite studs.

Light Fixtures

Misusing light fixtures is one of the top causes of electrical fires. Many homeowners neglect to check fixtures for maximum wattage ratings and improperly use high-wattage bulbs. Only use bulbs with an acceptable wattage and avoid placing paper or light cloth lampshades too close to hot bulbs. Consider investing in energy-efficient CFL bulbs, which produce less heat and use considerably less energy to produce the same amount of light.

Extension Cords

Extension cords are one of the most dangerous causes of electrical fires. In fact, they are three times more likely to cause civilian deaths and four times more likely to cause injury than electrical fires stemming from fixed outlets. Whenever possible, limit extension cords for temporary usage.

Space Heaters

It’s tempting to place portable space heaters next to beds, nightstands, furniture, and other high-traffic places, but an abundance of nearby flammable objects creates a fire hazard. Avoid using coil space heaters, as they can instantaneously ignite a flammable surface.

Whether you need electrical repairs, a home upgrade, or even professional decorative lighting, TLC Electrical is here to provide experienced electrical services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Visit us online or call (817) 424-2684 to learn more about our current specials.

In Summary

Electricity is one of the most valuable utilities in your home, which is why it’s important to keep your electrical system functioning safely and efficiently with help of our certified electricians at TLC Electrical.   Fire Recruit has more information about electrical fire hazards and how you can prevent them. Additionally, the U.S. Fire Administration has a fact sheet specifically on home electrical fire prevention and the National Fire Protection Association has a variety of safety tip sheets explaining how to prevent fires in and around the home. 

TLC Electrical provides residents of Southlake, TX and the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area with certified and cost-effective electrical services. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest home design and electrical safety updates, and call (817) 424-2684 to set up a service appointment.