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How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are the third leading cause of home structural fires in the US, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Causing more than $1.3 billion in damages and more than 400 deaths in a four-year span, it’s clear that electrical fire prevention should be taken seriously.

Rainbow International wants to help and encourages homeowners to take proactive steps for preventing electrical fires. With just a few simple preventative measures, you can avoid the heartache and loss of an electrical fire damaging your home. Here’s what you can do to protect your home.

How to Protect Your Home from Electrical Fires

Begin by assessing the integrity of the electrical system in your home. Many electrical fires come from outdated electrical systems in older homes that either can’t keep up with modern needs or have deteriorated over time. Consider getting a professional safety inspection from our Neighborly  network sister company, Mr. Electric, to identify any problems. In general, your home should be wired with solid copper wire. All outlets should be able to accept three-prong plugs, and they should be GFCI equipped if installed in moist locations. All current should run through a circuit breaker that trips when it senses an overload.

Surge protectors will protect your electrical systems from sudden surges in power. You can install a whole home surge protector to protect everything in your home, or use a surge protected power strip for certain appliances.

If you live in an older home, ask a professional if your home could benefit from AFCI protection. These advanced safety systems detect dangerous electrical conditions that standard breakers do not.

Best Practices for Preventing Electrical Fires

Avoid overloading outlets. Outlet extenders are not permanent solutions and should be avoided. Use power strips with overload protection. Use extension cords sparingly and never permanently. Never use an extension cord with space heaters or AC appliances.

Never run extension cords under carpets, near moisture or in high-traffic areas. Always use light bulbs with the correct wattage for the appliance. Remember: you do not need a flame to start a fire. Heat-producing objects in your home like light bulbs or your clothes dryer can heat nearby objects to the point of combustion.

Signs Your Electrical Wiring Is Compromised

  • Flickering lights
  • Buzzing lights
  • Mysterious electrical problems
  • Frequently tripped breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch electric appliances
  • Discolored or warm electric outlets

Following these safety protocols and looking for warning signs will significantly lower the risk of an electrical fire in your home or business. Should you experience the unfortunate event of an electrical fire, Rainbow International can help. We have decades of experience in fire damage restoration. Our trained IICRC-certified technicians and state-of-the-art tools and techniques will restore your home or business to pre-loss conditions. Just call 855-724-6269, or visit us online to schedule a consultation with your local Rainbow International.