Electrical Fire Causes: Appliances, Heaters and Lights

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on preventing electrical fires in any home or building, plus the causes that might trigger these risks. Fire prevention is an important facet in several areas, both within buildings and outside them, and interior fire prevention often connects directly with electrical areas in a few ways.

At My Buddy the Electrician, we’re happy to assist with a variety of both commercial and residential electrician needs, including electrical repair and inspection services that will ensure your setup is free of any fire hazards. To continue our series from part one, here are some of the other top potential causes of electrical fire risks within your home or building, plus how to avoid them and stay free of these concerns.

electrical fire causes appliances

Appliance Age and Issues

In many cases, electrical fires are kicked off by aging, worn-down appliances that aren’t working properly or have developed problematic electrical connections. These older products are often not made under modern standards, both in terms of materials used and safety regulations followed.

If you have any older appliances that use electricity, such as a toaster or blender, inspect them regularly for any signs of damage. If they ever make strange noises or product a burning smell, they should either be replaced or, at minimum, inspected by an appliance repair professional.

Portable Heaters

Another possible cause of a fire will be the use of a portable heater like a space heater, which we generally do not recommend. These items heat up very quickly and ignite flammable materials extremely fast, meaning they’re a major risk if they’re near curtains, bedding or any other flammable items.

If you must use these items, they should always be kept on flat, fire-safe surfaces that are far from any flammable items or materials, and they should never be left unattended for any period of time while working. In addition, they should be unplugged whenever they aren’t in use.

Light Fixtures

Finally, some electrical fires are caused by light bulbs that are placed in fixtures they aren’t meant for. If you screw a high-wattage bulb into a lamp that’s not compatible for it, for instance, this will often lead to sparks or a fire. Lamps are common issues here – they also start fires in cases where they’re covered with a cloth, which we strongly advise against. When installing any new bulbs, especially in lamps but also in plenty of other light fixtures, be sure to check the wattage and be sure it’s appropriate.

For more on the risks and causes of electrical fires in the home or to learn about any of our residential or commercial electrician services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Electrician today.