Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Ft. Worth Home
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 47,700 home fires in the U.S. are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions each year. These fires result in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Help lower your risk of electrical fires by not overloading your electrical system.
Overloaded Circuit Warning Signs
- Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
- Warm or discolored wall plates
- Cracking, sizzling, or buzzing from receptacles
- Burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches
- Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles, or switches
When choosing to light for your home, it is essential to understand that some light switches have more functions than merely turning on lights. These added features such as timers and dimmers can make your home more convenient and efficient. If you are thinking of making a switch, contact a qualified electrician to ensure that the lighting you choose is compatible with your home. And remember, all light switches should be installed by a professional.
Don't Take These Warning Signs Lightly
- The wall plate is hot to the touch.
- There is discoloration of or around the switch plate.
- Lights dim and/or flicker without cause.
- You hear crackling, popping, or buzzing from your outlet.
- Often Breakers trip or fuses blow when the switch is turned on.
- You detect an odor when a switch is used.
- The switch leans to one side or feels loose when operating.
- You often experience a shock when operating the switch.
- Lights get brighter or dimmer when other appliances turn on or off.
- The home is over 40 years old and has aluminum wiring but has not recently undergone a safety inspection by an electrician.
If any of the above characterizes your lighting control points, have your home's electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Electrical Overloads
- Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances
- All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Only plug one heat-producing appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time
- Heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have a qualified electrician inspect your home and add new outlets
- Power strips only add additional outlets; they do not change the amount of power being received from the outlet
Hopefully, these tips can help keep your home safe and protected from fires caused by an electrical malfunction, though accidents do occur. Our crews here at SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth see a handful of electrical fires each year, especially during the summer when extra fans and a/c units are plugged in and in winter when plug-in heaters are in use as well as holiday lights.