Electrical Fires

Electrical Fires: Top Causes and Preventive Steps

Residential electrical fires are a significant concern. They cause more than a billion dollars in property damage from more than 50,000 fires each year. If you’re a homeowner, then you should be serious about preventing electrical fires.

Any electrician from Provo, Utah, or any other location can tell you that most electrical fires are preventable. There are plenty of precautionary steps that you can take.

Top Causes of Electrical Fires

The first step in preventing residential electrical fires is knowing their causes, and here are some of the leading ones:

Faulty Outlets

Faulty electrical outlets cause a lot of residential fire every year. Over time, the wires connected to the outlets can become worn out. Those wires can become loose eventually and then cause fire later on. The best way to prevent problems caused by these worn-out outlets is to replace them as soon as they are noticed. Better yet, replace the electrical outlets regularly even if they are not noticeably worn-out yet.

Outdated Wiring

If your house is 20 years old or older and it has not been renovated or upgraded, then its electrical system might be outdated. The wiring of your home, in particular, might be obsolete already. The house would have been designed for handling loads that are lower than what you are using now.

Also, the wiring might already be worn-out and might need replacement. Older wires tend to heat up and are more likely to catch fire.


Circuit Overloads

Extensive use of extension cords is also a major cause of fires in homes. Very often, appliances will be plugged into a single outlet with the use of an extension cord. Sometimes, an extension cord is plugged into another extension cord to make things even worse. The problem with the excessive use of extension cords is that it makes overloads highly likely.

You have to avoid overloading your outlets. If you find yourself always needing an extension cord, then that means you need an electrician to upgrade the electrical connection in your home.

Old Appliances

Just as the wiring in your home can get outdated, old appliances, too, can be a cause of residential fires. The worn-out insulation found in these old appliances can pose a significant problem as they can catch fire quite easily.
Sometimes, it is not enough to have these appliances repaired. It is best to get newer appliances and get rid of the old ones.

Defective Light Fixtures

It might not be obvious, but installing lights with higher wattage ratings than the fixture can lead to fires. So, make sure that you match the light with the rating of the fixtures. Another thing that you should avoid is the placing of paper and other flammable material near the lights and lampshades.


Residential electrical fires cause a lot of damage, but most of these cases are preventable. Knowing the main causes of these fires can go a long way in reducing the risk. Take the time to learn about these causes and be prepared.

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