The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 10% of all fires are caused because of an electrical malfunction, which accounts for 485 deaths and property losses of up to $868 million in a single year.
Poor electrical wiring cause more fires than electrical appliance malfunction, almost as twice as many.
Electrical fires are odorless, invisible and deadly. Many homeowners are unaware of the dangers lurking in their home which can ignite an electrical fire.
It is important for homeowners to learn about the electrical wiring of their houses and take measures for protection accordingly.
Here are three areas that need attention:
Circuit Breakers and Fuses
Circuit breakers and fuses are installed to protect the wiring, but can still be a threat. If the current flowing through the wires is higher than the capacity of the wires, the fuse will detect it and cut off the power.
However, overheating can damage the insulation and ignite the combustible materials near the wires. So reliance on fuses and circuit breakers is not enough. Homeowners must ensure that the wiring is properly sized and has the right capacity.
An electrician should be called straight away to inspect the wiring. The electrician will also ensure that appropriate appliances are connected to separate circuits to prevent overloading.
Switches and outlets
Switches and outlets that are charred, discolored or shocking indicate that they are bad or that the wiring is shorting out. The shocking could be happening from an appliance that is plugged in, however when the appliance is replaced and the shocking continues, the switch or the outlet should be replaced. Along with the replacement, it would be a good idea to get the wiring checked from a professional electrician. The wires may have lost its insulation, which will need to be replaced.
Extension cords are common in households for plugging appliances in. All extension cords have ratings and capacities, and can take only a limited amount of load. All the extension cords that are connected to major appliances in the house, like air conditioner, heater, computer, refrigerator, must be checked to ensure that their rating meets the requirements.
Extension cords that are overloaded tend to heat up and cause electrical fires. The risk is even more if the extension cord is running below the carpet or furniture that does not allow the heat to escape. Consulting the electrician for home before purchasing extension cords for major appliances is always a good idea.
Do you need a repair or an upgrade?
Only after a professional inspection will you be able to know whether your home’s electrical wiring is safe or not. You may need repairs or even an upgrade in your electrical wiring, especially if you are living in a home built before 1980s. Houses build before the 1980s have aluminum wires that are considered to be really dangerous.
Call RHK Electrical if you reside in Cypress, TX. We can conduct a comprehensive inspection of your electrical wiring to know if it is safe. We will also perform the required electrical repairs and install surge protection to ensure the safety of your family.