According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to over 45,000 home fires caused by electrical malefaction between 2007 and 2011. These fires caused 455 deaths, over 1,500 injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage.
Nearly all of them were preventable.
Is Your Home at Risk for an Electrical Fire?
Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires. If your home is more than 100 years old, it may pose an increased risk of electrical fire. Older homes were built with aluminum wiring, which is more fire-prone than modern copper wiring.
The other major risk factor for electrical fire is how you use the electricity in your home. Do you have several high-energy appliances or electronic devices in the same room? You may be overloading the circuits in that area. Overloaded circuits can short out or overheat, causing nearby flammable materials to ignite.
Simple Fire Damage Prevention
Preventing an electrical fire is simple. If your home has older wiring, call an electrician to inspect it. If your home is over a century old, you may need to have the wiring replaced. This is a major task, but it is less expensive and less devastating than dealing with the aftermath of a fire.
If you must plug in several high-energy devices into one circuit, use a power strip with automatic overload protection built in. These power strips will shut off if the circuit becomes overloaded. Consider having an electrician install additional outlets in rooms where you use a lot of electricity.
Check your outlets and appliances regularly. Look for frayed power cords and outlets that feel warm to the touch. These are danger signs and should be taken seriously. Replace broken or frayed power cords, and reduce the number of appliances plugged into outlets that are warm to the touch. Consider having an electrician inspect these outlets for damaged wiring.
Fire Damage Restoration
If you do have an electrical fire in your home, call an experienced fire damage restoration team as soon as the fire fighters are finished putting out the fire. They will inspect the damage, and advise you on the best way to restore your home to normal. Your homeowners insurance agent will be able to recommend a reputable fire damage restoration company.