Electricity is one of the greatest inventions that the human race has seen. It has changed the way humans live and brought about many other positive inventions. Indeed, many of our ancestors will desire to live in this age, considering many things this generation has access to.
However, such a great invention as electricity comes with significant risk. While electricity has made life better in unimaginable ways and improved human life, the risk of an electric fire is always there.
While electric fire is common mainly when electricity is mishandled, there are several other causes of electric fire one needs to know. Many things can trigger electric fire, from faulty appliances to old wires and connection problems. However, this article explores several causes of electric fires:
- Old Appliances
Some old appliances come with faulty wiring that sets the electric wire stage. Also, when you consider that old insulation used in various devices could be highly flammable, they might set the stage for electric fire. As a result, replacing such could help prevent this issue.
When purchasing any gadget, ensure that the appliance is updated. There is a high probability that such gadgets might not be up to standard with an old instrument. Safety regulations, material quality, and wattage usage might not be up to standards for such devices. Various household appliances and kitchen gadgets are prone to fire when they do not meet safety regulations.
- Power Or Extension Cords
A power strip or surge protector is another common form of electrical extension. It comes with five or more outlets with the main cord that enters the outlet. Individuals use such extensions when there is a need to plug multiple devices in a common area like an office, kitchen, or office.
One requires investing in some good quality cords as low or cheap ones are not safe, and if they get overheated, they can cause a fire. Cords Consider using a high-quality extension cord with switch to prevent overloading of the extension cord.
Also, when using an extension cord, avoid piggybacking one cord to the other. It can affect the power switch, start a fire or cause an electric shock. Only plug it in a spaced outlet to prevent a potential fire outbreak when using a power strip.
One way to upgrade your home’s outlet safety is to replace all two-pronged outlets with three-prongs. Don’t forget prongs on plugs simultaneously. You get a stable outlet that will give your plugs a secure grip.
- Light Fixtures
Another extreme cause of the electric fire is lamps and light fixtures. There is a high risk of electric fire if you install a bulb with high wattage for the fixture. Ensure you check and observe the maximum recommended wattage on all light fixtures and don’t exceed the recommended specification.
Additionally, placing materials like cloth or paper over a lamp might trigger a fire. The lamp could heat the material, igniting and starting a fire. This is in addition to faulty light fixtures that might result in a fire.
When buying light bulbs, ensure to check the wattage instructions for the fixtures in your home. If you have a light fixture with a capacity of 60 Watt, putting a 100 Watt fixture in it might trigger a fire. As a result, never go over the recommended wattage fixture.
- Faulty Outlets
One of the significant causes of electric fires is an old, outdated, and faulty electrical outlet. Also, there is a fire risk if there is a fault in appliance cords, switches, and receptacles. As a result, avoid using frayed cords or worn-out switches and receptacles.
Some people could be guilty of removing the grounding plug from a cord to convert it into a two-teeth outlet which might cause a fire. Also, cords running under rugs or carpets cannot be a good idea. Such appliances come with an extra prong, making it possible to use an outlet to handle the excessive electricity amount that such devices draw.
- Overloading Of Extension Cords Or Power Outlets
Another risk of fire hazard is the unrestricted use of power outlets. Plugging various gadgets like TV, laptops, phones, home theaters, etc., into a single extension cord can overload it. Fire output is at risk if such a socket or extension cannot handle the load. This causes a circuit overload which puts you at serious risk.
With this, ensure you never overload your electric outlets. Installing an extra outlet is the way to go if you do not have enough to accommodate all your electric gadgets at home. Also, remember that smashed or kinked cords might produce excessive heat, melting the insulation and triggering an electric fire.
- Portable Heaters
During winter, be conscious of the location of your space heaters, and do not leave them for too long. Be careful when sleeping or going away for a long time. Your heater should not be near rugs, curtains, couches, beds, etc. This is the cause of various home fires.
It is advisable for people who use space heaters to use the radiator-type as it diffuses the heat over the appliance’s surface. With such devices, the chance of catching fire is low, even though one should still be cautious while using the device.
No one wishes or prays to experience an electric fire. It can lead to loss of life or property, which could be devastating. However, one needs to take the necessary steps to ensure a limited chance for such occurrences.