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An Electrician Discusses How to Prevent an Electrical Fire in Your Home
Electrical fires can cause a lot of damage to your home, but an electrician can prevent it. Regular maintenance of your house is the key. However, there are also other things one can do to prevent an electrical fire at home. Keep reading to find out what electricians advise.
What are the causes of electrical fires?
Old wiring, faulty sockets or damaged appliances can all contribute to an electrical fire. Old buildings, in particular, are notorious for worn-out wiring and faulty connections. Sockets may be damaged over time or become loose in their fittings. Old appliances finally giving out can also be the cause of electrical fires.
Other causes can include damp and water leaks reaching electrics. Overloading the system with too many appliances may cause fuses to trip but should not be a cause of fires in well-maintained electrics. A simple accident can be a cause of later electrical fires. A drink spilled on an appliance may seem to do no damage at the time. Electrical damage and internal sparks may take some time to develop into a noticeable blaze.
How can electrical fires be prevented?
First, turn off all appliances when not in use. This simple maintenance habit extends the life of most appliances and saves money on electricity bills. It also precludes the chance of electrical fires while the appliance is unattended. Switch off unused sockets. Tidy cables and plugs to avoid tripping hazards. Besides the risk of injury in a fall, sudden yanking of cables can damage electrical sockets.
Second, have a qualified electrician check the wiring and connections. Regular maintenance is key to preventing foreseeable accidents. Where damp or water leaks are an issue, have a professional plumber fix and maintain the pipes regularly. Never attempt amateur wiring. Always call a qualified electrician to make any repairs to a building’s electrical connections.
Third, double-check that kitchen appliances are off when not in use. Cookers and stoves are particular fire hazards if left on unattended. Another simple kitchen safety tip is to always refill the kettle after boiling water. Leaving the kettle empty, and then absent-mindedly switching it on without checking, can cause the heating element to burn out.
Dealing with electrical fires
With luck, a person will be present to spot the fire as soon as it begins. Electrical fires often give some prior sign before taking hold. The device may emit smoke, sparks or both. The warning may range from subtle to spectacular. A thin trail of smoke may be all that precedes the flames. Water-filled appliances may release showers of sparks.
In all cases, switch off the appliance immediately at the first sign of fire. If it is too late for that, switch off the power at the main fuse box. Responsible homeowners and tenants will already know where the fuse box is. If in doubt, book an electrician now to locate the fuse box and explain how to reset it. Never pour water on an electrical fire. Cut the power and use a gas or powder extinguisher.
Book an appointment with an electrician
Pick up the phone to book an electrician to check the wiring in your home. During the checkup, ask for further tips and advice on electrical fire prevention. Remember, never attempt amateur electrical repairs. Always consult a qualified electrician before doing anything to live wiring.
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