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The Most Common Causes of Electrical Fires in Maryland

Posted on: May 5, 2016

We’ve certainly been on an electrical safety kick lately here at Kolb Electric. But hey, it’s for good reason! With summer weather on the rise, activity levels are at an all time high. This means more use of electrical appliances, more parties, and more traffic. Is your home safe from common causes for electrical fire? Let’s find out!

The certified electricians at Kolb have handled their fair share of dangerous situations with regards to electrical fire. When it comes to safety, there’s no better teacher!

The Most Common Causes of Electrical Fire in Maryland

Maryland boasts a rich, diverse population with loads of historic value and modern innovation. But some of these combinations can result in some pretty dangerous situations:

  • Outdated outlets. This may well be the number one cause for electrical fires not only in Maryland, but nationwide. The prevalence of ungrounded outlets in older homes is pretty high, and these outlets are rarely if ever compatible with modern appliances. If you still have ungrounded outlets in your home (the ones that only have the two vertical slits), it is definitely time to get your outlets replaced.
  • Older appliances and equipment. Antiques are certainly a joy to own, but for many of them, attempting to put them to use is another matter entirely. Many of these appliances were built in a time where electricity was handled in much different ways, and they likely lack the safety measures of newer equipment; if they’re compatible at all in the first place.
  • Aged wiring and old panels. The wiring in your home is fairly dependable, but if it’s pushing ten years or more, it’s a good idea to have them inspected and evaluated for electrical safety. Frayed wiring, wires that are making poor or unintended contacts, and wires that are outright damaged often go unnoticed. That is, until there’s a fire. Keep your system up to date with a heavy up!
  • Incorrect wattages. Whether old or modern, your light fixtures were designed to handle a very specific range of energy, and as such, they require specific bulb wattages. Using an 80 watt bulb in a fixture designed to handle 40, for instance, is a good way to get a fire going. Sure, you’re getting a little more light. But if you keep going with it, you’re going to get more light than you bargained for.
  • Poor use of power strips and extension cords. For starters, extension cords are intended for temporary use. Get the job you need to finish done, and then unplug the appliance. These cords lack the durability and safety measures of a proper outlet, and can lead to overheating and electrical fires in a hurry. Additionally, never use power strips to plug in more power strips or extension cords. This creates a huge imbalance in your circuit, and can cause a fire.

Electrical Safety with Kolb Electric in Maryland

So let’s turn this list of five into a single statement. Keep your home updated! With adequate, modern, and grounded outlets you shouldn’t need excessive cords, or to use outdated tools. Looking for the upgrades and updates you need for your Maryland home? Contact Kolb today!

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