Tips on How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Each year, more than 25,000 electrical fires are reported, killing or injuring more than 1,300 people. At Gary Houston Electric Company, we want you to be a customer, not a statistic, so we’ve put together a list of some of the most common causes of home electrical fires, and what to look for to prevent them.

Wiring – Nothing lasts forever and your home wiring is no exception. If you have an older home, the wiring should be inspected to ensure it meets the requirements of today’s electrical demands. Aluminum wiring is more fire-prone than copper and should be replaced with 12 American Wire Gauge (AWG) solid copper wiring.

Overloaded Circuits – A common cause of fires, trying to run too many appliances on one circuit is asking for trouble, and if a circuit breaker trips repeatedly, you need to find out the reason. DO NOT replace a breaker with a larger capacity breaker to stop it from tripping.

Broken Plugs and Cords – When insulation becomes frayed, wiring exposed, or you see evidence of overheating (rippled and/or burned insulation), or if a plug housing cracks or wears out, replace it immediately. Cords and plugs in poor condition can spark or over heat and cause a fire.

Hot Connections – Whether a plug, a cord, wiring, a fuse box, or circuit breaker, excessive heat is a sign of failure. Whatever component is failing needs to be replaced immediately.

Keep Flammable Items Away From Outlets – Portable space heaters, hair dryers, or lamps, any appliance can start a fire if it generates heat and comes into prolonged contact with fabrics. Keep blankets, towels, clothing, etc. away from such sources. Irons should be disconnected and safely stored after use.

Unusual noises – Buzzing sounds coming from switches or outlets can be a sign of a short or faulty wiring and should be inspected and repaired/replaced immediately. Any electric repair problem more complex than replacing a cord or a light bulb should only be attempted by a qualified, licensed residential electrician.

At GHEC, we have a full range of residential electrical services, and we use only the best electricians in the business. In fact, we won’t send an electrician to your home that we wouldn’t gladly send to our own.

Give us a call today at 501-375-8330 or contact us online and find out why we are Central Arkansas’ trusted electricians for over 35 years!