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The Leading Causes of Electrical Fires – and How to Prevent Them

Posted on: May 15, 2015

More than 480,000 house fires were reported in the United States in 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association, resulting in over 2,800 deaths and more than 14,000 injuries, not to mention more than $9.5 million in property damage. A house fire is reported on the average once every 85 seconds.

Common Causes of Electric Fires

A fire can escalate from a spark to a raging blaze in just a matter of minutes. Since it can start behind the walls without being detected until it gets out of control, an electrical fire is especially dangerous.

Unlike storms or other emergencies, fires often leave families with little time to prepare and evacuate the building—so it’s important to stay protected against some of the most common causes. Some of the biggest reasons for household fires are related to electricity, including:

  • Cooking fires. Fires resulting from cooking food or cooking appliance malfunctions are some of the leading types of house fires.
  • Electrical malfunctions. Electrical fires are one of the most common types of house fires. This kind of fire can be caused by improperly-installed wiring, overloaded circuits, and faulty plugs and outlets. Avoid dangerous DIY electrical projects, and be sure any electrician you work with is an experienced one to prevent issues like these.
  • Holiday fires. Christmas tree lights, older holiday lights, and candles can all lead to house fires, whether by causing your circuits to overload or due to another reason.

Fire Safety and Prevention

Fortunately, there are many measures you can take to protect yourself and your household or business from a catastrophic electrical fire. One of the most important tips we can give you is to be very careful about who you have work on your electrical circuits and wiring. To avoid an electrical fire, only allow a certified electrician to install new wiring and/or work on your outlets, circuits, or electrical appliances. During your day-to-day routine, stay weary of any open flames, whether on your gas stove, a candle, or a cigarette.

Of course, even the most careful household or building can face an electrical fire. It’s important to have a working smoke detector in place in the event of an emergency (we can help!). You should also devise an evacuation plan and make sure that each family member or employee knows what to do if you have a fire.

Prevent Electrical Fires with Expert Installation & Routine Maintenance by Kolb Electric!

Another way to prevent an electrical fire is to stay current with electrical maintenance. At Kolb Electric, we employ only skilled, licensed electricians to work on your wiring. We want you, your home, and your office to stay safe, so we’re careful to send out the best electrician for your particular job.

For more tips on electrical fire prevention or to get top-notch electrical services for your home or building, call us at 877 287-1179. We’ve been providing top-notch installations and maintenance work to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC home and building owners since 1925.

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