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Common Causes of Electrical Fires

Faulty electrical systems and bad wiring can cause a number of problems in homes, both new and old. While flickering lights and overloaded outlets are inconvenient, the most dangerous electrical failures result in fires. Here are some of the most common causes of electrical fires:

  • Faulty electrical outlets and older appliances often throw sparks when used. This can lead to a fire breaking out in your home. Avoid using loose or discolored outlets; they're likely damaged and should be fixed by a qualified electrician.
  • Using the wrong wattage light bulb in a lamp is also a leading cause of electrical fires. A wattage that is too high creates intense heat and can melt the light socket, damaging the light fixture's wires and insulation. This creates an interruption in the current and generates sparks. The intense heat generated by the bulb combined with the interruption in current is a leading cause of electrical house fires.
  • Poor choices in lampshades can also lead to house fires. Light bulbs generate heat and placing a flammable material close to them often leads to the material burning. Choose high quality lampshades that rest far enough away from the bulb to minimize the risk of fires.
  • In winter, it's common for space heaters to be a frequent cause of house fires. These heaters are portable and many people show a minimal regard for where to put them. Placing space heaters next to flammable material like curtains, bedding, and rugs increases the risk of house fires. It's best to keep radiators in open areas away from combustible materials.
  • Old wiring often lacks the ability to handle modern energy demands. Older homes also have outdated breaker boxes that don't flip breakers when the system is overloaded. When this happens, the power current that should have been interrupted by the breaker continues, creating heat and sparks that can cause fires.

Electrical fires are largely preventable with common sense and routine inspection by a licensed electrician. If you suspect that your home needs new wiring or are concerned about a loose outlet, call the expert technicians at Dipple in Greenville. We have the experience and know-how to get your home's electrical system up to date.

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