Electrical fires can be a common occurrence but possess different challenges than regular fires. It is crucial to take precautionary measures to prevent this type of disaster from happening in your home. If your home is damaged, Klotzman Property Damage law can help with your fire damage insurance claim.
What Is an Electrical Fire?
Electrical fires are typically started by heat due to a short circuit in an electrical system. Lightning strikes can cause power surges which can overload your outlets and electronics, potentially causing a fire.
It is important to take the proper steps to understand how these events can arise and how to protect yourself against them. Electrical fires are dangerous as they can start without an open flame source, like candles or a fireplace, which can be harder to predict or take proper precautions to prevent.
How Do Electrical Fires Start?
Electrical issues are one of the most common causes of house fires. The electrical issues that cause these fires can include frayed or damaged cords, overloading your outlets, misuse of space heaters, tangled wires, or not matching your light bulb’s wattage to your lamp or light fixture.
This type of fire tends to occur in heavily populated rooms where people use a lot of electronics. So, it is critical to keep the area surrounding outlets clean and organized to minimize risks.
Approximately 51,000 house fires a year are caused by electrical issues, causing around 1.3 billion dollars in property damage.
4 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires
The majority of these kinds of fires can be prevented by executing proper safety measures in your home. Below are some of the methods you can use to prevent electrical fires and how to best contain them if they occur.
Have the Right Equipment
If you encounter a fire started by electricity, do not use water to attempt to put it out, as this can conduct the electrical current which can cause a larger reaction. Baking soda is an alternative that can help put out an electric-based fire, but a fire extinguisher with the proper class is the best option.
ABC fire extinguishers cover all types of fires, making them great to keep in your home in case of an emergency.
Inspect Your Home
Get your home regularly inspected by licensed electricians. They can help you identify potential hazards and take the steps to prevent them from causing damage to you and your home. This is crucial as insurance companies may try to deny your fire damage claim by saying you should have repaired faulty electrical wiring or equipment.
It is recommended to get your home inspected every 5-7 years, but a few situations may warrant an inspection outside of that time frame. These circumstances include hearing buzzing or humming, flickering lights, or outlets getting hot, just to name a few.
If you experience any of the above, contact your local electrician and schedule an inspection immediately.
Outdated Outlets & Wiring
As homes get older, the electrical wiring they were built with can deteriorate and lead to a higher risk of a fire starting. Additionally, older outlets often do not have ground wires, which increases the likelihood that something can overheat. Ensure your outlets are updated and are outfitted with 3-prong plugs to keep your home safe.
GFCI outlets are super helpful to use around your home, but especially around water, as they can shut off automatically if a change in current is detected inside of the outlet. This can help prevent shorts and sparks that could be harmful to you and your family. Utilize these outlets in areas with possible moisture like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, or garages.
Be Smart With Cords
Extension cords are not designed for long-term use, and should only be used as a temporary fix. Do not plug high-wattage electronics into extension cords, such as microwaves, toasters, refrigerators, etc.
Additionally, instead of regular power strips, utilize surge protectors if you need more outlet space. Surge protectors can defend devices plugged in from spikes in the electrical current which could damage your electronics or pose a fire hazard.
Get Help With a Fire Damage Insurance Claim
If you’ve dealt with an electrical fire, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. By taking the proper precautions and taking care of your home, you can significantly lower the odds of experiencing this accident.
Dealing with an insurance claim after a fire can be a complex and taxing process, but a property damage lawyer can assist you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Here at Klotzman Property Damage Law, we advocate for fair compensation so you can properly restore and repair any damage.
Schedule your free case review today with our Hollywood property damage attorneys. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.