Common Causes of Electrical Fires

According to an article by Fire Rescue 1, the United States Fire Administration states that there are about 28,600 electrical fires every year. Electrical fires are dangerous, and many individuals may not even know it is happening since the only warning sign is the smell of smoke. There are hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars lost in property damage because of electrical fires. The summer months are calm and do not have fire damage often, but during the winter, the number skyrockets. Ask your local  electrician in Bedford, NH why and they will tell you space heaters are more common during this time, and lights are on more.

Many issues could speed up the process of an electrical fire within your home. Older homes especially are more prone to electrical fires due to the standards for wiring in old houses. Today, with the GFCI and the AFCI outlets and breakers, the warning signs can be there. However, it is not always the case. There are many everyday things that we do that can potentially cause our homes to fall victim to an electrical fire.

Outdated faulty wiring

Poor wiring is one of the main issues that could help start an electrical fire. When you consider your installation, you need to take into account how old the wiring is. If you live in an older home, you probably have knob and tube wiring, which can quickly start an electrical fire. While it is not just the layout of the home that causes the shortages that start a fire, it a prominent factor. Also, look out for frayed cords placed on flammable surfaces, since that could start a fire on its own.


Lighting is another major factor when it comes to electrical fires. There is a reason that there is a recommended amperage for all lamps and light fixtures. The fixture is not made to handle the extra wattage if you try to add in a light of greater amperage. Excess amperage could cause a shortage and an electrical fire. Also, just keep the lamps the way they are and don’t try to put anything flammable over the lamp shade you use. It could heat up and ignite.

Extension cords

Extension cords are made to be temporary fixes for when something doesn’t quite reach the plug. They are also not meant to handle big appliances like a microwave. While many extension cords are made today to control the televisions and the computer, which are always using energy, it is important that any major appliance is plugged directly into the outlet. Surge protectors are the universal protectors of televisions and computers, which have a higher standard than the average orange extension cord you can buy. If you do need more outlets, have your electrician in Bedford help you.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are one of the biggest causes of electrical fires. These are ideal for that little bit of extra heat on a cold winter night, but since they are portable, many individuals place them too close to flammable materials. All heaters, especially coil heaters where the coils heat up to be scorching, should be kept away. Radiator styled space heaters are the safest alternative but are still a danger.

Electrical fires are no laughing matter when it comes to your safety and the safety of your loved ones. While they are hard to notice when they are happening, keep the causes in mind and try to pay attention to electrical shortages. If you are worried about an electrical fire, call your trusted electrician in Bedford, NH at Chamberlin Electric today.