While many people know that using frayed extension cords can start a fire, there are still about 370,000 house fires in the United States every year. Warning signs of electrical hazards include lights flickering, getting shocked while plugging appliances into outlets, and a persistent burning smell. Read on to learn more from Tim Kyle, the Harford County electrician, on the common causes of electrical fire.
Common Causes of Electrical Fire
Old wiring, aluminum wiring, loose outlets, and arc faults are the top dangers in your home. Old electrical wiring (wiring that’s older than 30 or 40 years) is a huge fire hazard. Unless you just moved into a new home, you should have your wiring checked to ensure it is up to date. If it’s not updated, it can only withstand 30 amps of power. Unfortunately, new technology requires 200-amp fuses. This means an older system can easily become overloaded.
Also, aluminum wiring was popular in the 60s and 70s, but it oxidizes much quicker than modern copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is a potential hazard. Take a look at any exposed wiring for the word “aluminum” to discover if it’s in your home. If you can’t take a look, an electrician can perform a thorough search.
Do any of your outlets have a hard time holding the plugs in place? If the plug cannot be gripped, the electrical outlet and blades have become loose. This is dangerous because they generate a lot of heat and can cause a fire. Have you seen sparks fly from a power outlet? If so, that’s an arc fault. It’s also possible for it to happen behind the wall without you seeing it which can lead to a fire. To prevent this from happening, upgrade your circuit breaker to an AFCI. An ACFI will shut down the circuit if it senses abnormal electrical sparks.
Looking for a Harford County Electrician?
Since 1986, Tim Kyle Electric has been providing residential and commercial services to clients in Maryland. Whether you need fire alarm systems, panel upgrades, or security lighting, we do it all. For more information or an estimate, contact us!