The Top 6 Causes of Electrical Fires and How to Prevent Them!

Fire rescue crew arc flash hazard analysis
Causes of Electrical Fires

Do you know home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires, 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries with a substantial property damage of $1.3 billion every year?

That is why it is important to be aware of the dangers and potential causes of electrical fires in order to avoid them. In this blog, we will look at some of the most common causes of electrical fires and how they can be prevented.

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Common Electrical Outlets

wall socket
wall socket
Electrical Outlets — Major Cause of Electrical Fires

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets (Receptacles) or worn out sockets that are not properly grounded. As outlets and switches get older, the wiring behind them wears as well, and wires are strung about that loosen overtime and could potentially break and cause a fire.

Learn how to prevent electrical fires in a commercial facility by following preventative measures here.

Outdated or Worn-out Electrical Wiring

impact of bad wiring worn out wiring
impact of bad wiring worn out wiring

Outdated electrical wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home, such as computers, wide-screen televisions, video players, microwaves and air conditioners.

Some measures can be taken to keep wiring free from electrical hazards.

Cords and Electrical Circuit Overloads

Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. When the TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord, it creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load.

Save your home from unexpected fire hazards by following the tips here.

electrical safety for plugging extension cords
electrical safety for plugging extension cords

Old Appliances:

Old appliances that have frayed cords or loose or faulty wiring can catch fire. Moreover, due to the high flammability of old insulation used in these appliances, a simple electrical repair to address these issues may not be enough.

Ensure your safety by taking a few measures in an electrical facility today.

Light fixtures:

Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures, is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.

Find out the prevention tips of light fixtures here and keep your facility save from fire incidents.

electrical fire prevention techniques
electrical fire prevention techniques

Portable Heaters:

Be conscious of where you place your space heaters in the wintertime, and never leave it on for an extended period of time, especially when you are sleeping or have left the house. Placing your portable heater next to curtains, rugs, beds, couches, and the like is one of the most common causes of fires.

These prevention techniques can help reduce major electrical incidents within an electrical power system.

Let us know if you have any queries regarding this topic and do provide us with your feedback in the comments.

About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.

Leaders in Industrial & Commercial Power Systems Engineering