An electrical fire can cause extreme damage to a property and also cause bodily injury or death to anyone inside a structure when it occurs. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to prevent one from taking place. Let’s take a closer look at the causes of such fires and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your property.

The Dangers of Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are especially dangerous because they can grow undetected. They can occur behind walls or in rooms you might not frequent often. A faulty wire can spark, smolder, and spread before your fire alarm goes off. In some cases, you might not have known that any wires were damaged or frayed. That means that you might not be able to do anything to stop a fire before it begins.

The Causes of Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are often caused by faulty wiring, old wiring, or damage to wires caused by old age, rodents, or other issues. In older homes, they may have used materials that are no longer considered safe. To adapt your home to your needs, you may have overloaded a circuit or made improper modifications to your electrical system. Improper modifications may result in too much current flowing to a switch or other issues that increase your risk of a fire.

If you believe that your home or business has wires that were not installed correctly, don’t hesitate to call us to inspect them. It may be necessary to rewire a section of the property or the entire building. We can also install additional outlets to better accommodate your demands for power.

What to Do About Old Wiring

Ideally, you’ll have your home rewired every 20 to 30 years. Over time, wires can become frayed or suffer other types of damage simply because they are old. It’s also possible that older wires simply won’t be able to handle the demands of a modern electrical system. It is generally best to consider rewiring your entire home in such a scenario.

It may also be a good idea to consider upgrading your electrical panel, adding more circuits, or converting from a fuse box to an electrical panel. While most modern homes use circuit breakers, older homes typically have fuse boxes that may not be able to handle heavier loads effectively.

If Wires Are Damaged by Rodents

If you believe that wires are being chewed by mice, rats, or other creatures, the first step is to get rid of the underlying infestation. It may be necessary to vacate the premises for a day or two so that you can have an exterminator come in to get rid of the problem immediately.

To prevent this from happening again, you can have the wires covered in steel or other materials that rodents and other animals won’t be able to get through. Any wires that have already been damaged should be replaced immediately to minimize the risk of a fire.

Always Follow Building Codes

Another easy and effective way to minimize the risk of an electrical fire in your home is to follow building codes. The best way to do this is to always hire a professional electrician for any electrical work. As a family-owned business, we care about your safety. Our team will ensure that any work is completed per local codes and other applicable laws.

Being Proactive Can Help

There are often clues that an electrical fire is taking place or that there is an issue that needs your immediate attention. For example, if a light switch is extremely warm to the touch, it means that the wires leading up to it are hotter than they should be.

If you allow the heat to continue to build, there is a good chance that a fire will occur. Your light switch may also have melted from excessive heat or you may notice a burning smell coming from a switch or socket. In some cases, what you are seeing or smelling is the result of a fire that is taking place behind a wall.

Of course, those aren’t the only signs that your home is at risk for a fire. For instance, if the lights dim when you turn on an appliance, that might mean that your home has poor wiring or that it has been wired improperly. It could also be a sign of other problems with your wires that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Whole-home surge protection is one of the best ways to protect your home, family, electronics, and appliances from damaging surges. Using power strips may protect one or two devices but leave many unprotected. It’s also tempting to overload these strips. With whole-home surge protection, every item plugged in is protected from lightning strikes and other spikes from the electric grid.

Make Sure Your Home’s Electrical System Is Properly Grounded

When an electrical system is properly grounded, excess electrical current flows to the ground. If extra current is allowed to flow to a particular outlet, it might cause a short that could lead to a fire. If extra current flows to your computer, stove, or other devices, it could damage the equipment or cause sparks or a small explosion. Ultimately, the sparks could cause a fire to develop and spread quickly if no one is home to stop it.

What to Do if an Electrical Fire Starts in Your Home

In the event of a small electrical fire, your first step should be to turn off the power to the impacted area. This could be as simple as unplugging your computer, microwave, or other item that is the cause of the fire. In some cases, you’ll need to shut off the power to an entire room or your whole house.

You can put out the fire using kitty litter or similar materials capable of depriving the fire of oxygen. If you have a working fire extinguisher, it can be used to smother the fire and put it out.

In the event of a major fire, your best option is to find a safe way out of the house. While it may be tempting to gather documents or other belongings, the only thing that can’t be replaced is your life. Once you have reached a safe place, you can call the fire department for help. Your local utility company may also want to come to your property to investigate the cause of the fire or take care of other administrative tasks.

At HR Phoenix, we can help with your electrical issues, including installing ceiling fans, EV charging stations, and generators. We also offer plumbing services with 24/7 emergency response. This can help ensure your property is safe and comfortable throughout the year. If you need residential or commercial electrical system repair, call the team at HR Phoenix in Dallas today!

company icon