Electrical Fire Causes: Wiring, Outlets and Circuits

Within the world of electrical service, both in homes and other buildings, safety is of paramount importance. Electricity can be dangerous if it isn’t handled and controlled, and this is a large part of what electricians manage when they work on a given structure.

At My Buddy the Electrician, we’re happy to offer both commercial and residential electrician services that place safety as a top priority throughout. One major area of safety within electrical service, one that’s also applicable in numerous other areas: Fire prevention. A huge part of preventing fires due to electrical issues is simply understanding the common culprits here and how these often get started – this two-part blog series will go over all the potential causes of electrical fires and how to steer clear of them at all times.

electrical fire causes wiring outlets

Old Wiring

For homes that are on the older side, the most significant electrical fire risk is likely old wiring that has not been updated in several decades. Like other items, wiring can wear down with time, including fraying on the edges and perhaps exposing their interiors.

If you notice regular power outages that aren’t due to weather or other concerns, this is often a sign of bad wiring. In these cases, a simple call to our electricians will solve your problem – we’ll investigate and identify the precise wires giving you issues, plus replace any old, outdated or damaged wiring to allow your system to return to full capacity.

Outlet Issues

Maybe the single most common location of electrical fires is near outlets, particularly ungrounded outlets. These are more prone to sparking, forming electrical arcs or even setting on fire. However, even grounded outlets can start fires if they wiring is loosened – GFCI outlets prevent these risks by tripping the circuit in case of a short. In addition, inspect your outlets regularly for signs of war, including soot near the sockets or switches that may indicate burning taking place.

Circuit Overloads

If you plug too many cords into a single power source, not only are you risking the quality of power output for the appliances in question, you’re also risking fire. A single extension cord shouldn’t power numerous appliances all at once, and will heavily increase the risk of fire while also wearing down your system in the meantime. Rather, we recommend utilizing multiple outlets and ensuring that major appliances have their own dedicated circuit – this is something our electricians are happy to help with if your home’s circuit setup needs an overhaul.

For more on how to understand and avoid electrical fire risks in any home or building, or to learn about any of our electrician services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Electrician today.