The Leading Causes of Electrical Fires

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 Electrical fires often start not because of blatant negligence or mishandling, but due to faulty outlets or outdated appliances.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.