Life doesn’t always play out the way you imagine it to. You can plan to have the perfect home where everything is at the right place and nothing is out of order. But oftentimes, even the most detailed plans falter when you don’t take certain things into account, such as the unforeseeable.
Accidents happen when you least expect them, and they can come in the form of electrical house fires caused by basically anything. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of a fire afterward because everything is scorched and beyond salvation, but here are the five culprits of electrical house fires that firefighters have managed to identify over time:
- Dryer Vents
The average household dries approximately 600 loads of laundry in a year, and yet many homeowners fail to clean their vents or remove the lint buildup. That’s why dryer vents are among the top culprits of electrical house fires because it accounts for 2,900 fires reported each year.
By conducting routine maintenance on your dryer, you can reduce the risk of a potential fire simply. You have removed the accumulated debris in the hose and vents. But if you don’t know how to clean it yourself, you can always find experts to do the professional cleaning of dryer vents for you.
- Electrical Wiring
It’s common for electrical wiring to loosen up over time because they repeatedly expand when in use and contract when turned off. Houses that are over 20 years old can also have outdated wiring systems that may no longer have the capacity to handle the increased amounts of electricity that most homes require today.
When this happens continuously, it can cause the breakers to short circuit or be overloaded too much that it leads to an electrical house fire. That’s why you must have your electrical system inspected at least once every decade or less to minimize the chances of starting a fire, which can cost you more than money.
- Light Fixtures
The maximum recommended bulb wattage exists for a reason: to reduce the risks of starting an electrical house fire. This is possible if you’re not using the correct light bulb in your lampshade or fixture because anything too high can cause the entire thing to overload.
So, before you install a light bulb into a fixture or lampshade, you should always check the recommended wattage and make sure to not go over. Doing this can eliminate the possibility of overloading the light fixtures, which can then put a stop to the fire before it even starts.
- Space Heaters
Space heaters are life-savers in situations where your house’s HVAC system fails to provide the necessary warmth that you require. However, their convenience and portability can become a double-edged sword because oftentimes, people place them too close to combustible surfaces like curtains and clothes.
This is especially dangerous if you’re using coil space heaters because the coils become too hot that they can ignite anything flammable in an instant. If you still want to use space heaters, go with electric or radiator-type heaters because these can diffuse heat over the surface instead of all in one place. It can also help to avoid placing the heaters near combustible surfaces to reduce the risks of a house fire.
- Extension Cords
Most homeowners depend on extension cords in situations where their appliances are too far from the wall outlets. However, what they might not know is that large appliances that require continuous electrical supply should always be plugged onto wall outlets directly; not through the extension cords.
It’s also possible for you to overload your extension cord because you’re plugging in too many appliances in one place at the same time. Misusing an extension cord is among the common causes of electrical house fires. If your wall sockets are too far, consider having one installed closer to your appliances to avoid depending on extension cords.
Most electrical house fires are preventable, especially if homeowners are more aware of their responsibilities at home. However, because many people lack the time to conduct routine checks around their house, they may fail to notice the signs of neglect until it’s too late to do anything about them.
If you want to reduce the risks of accidentally starting a house fire, you have to be warier in how you use your appliances and electrical usage. This will be easier once you fall into the habit of routinely checking on your outlets and appliances, as well as conducting inspections at least once a year.
Meta title: Watch out for These Five Usual Causes of Electrical House Fires
meta desc: No homeowner wants to lose all their belongings in a fire, but accidents happen. To avoid this, be on the lookout for these five usual causes of electrical house fires.