How to Prevent an Electrical Fire in Your Baltimore Home
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 47,700 house fires reported to fire departments in US in 2011 that were caused by some kind of electrical problem. Many of these fires lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Making sure that your Baltimore home’s electrical system is not putting the rest of your home at risk of a fire is a major priority.
Electrical fires can be a caused by a number of different parts of your electrical system, including:
- Wiring and related equipment
- Lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs
- Cords and plugs
- Transformers and power supplies
Preventing an electrical fire can be as simple as making sure that your electrical system is in the best condition possible, but for many homeowners, that’s not as easily done as it is sad. The professionals electricians at Magothy Electric Company recommend having regular electrical safety inspections performed, and you should also look out for these warning signs:
1. Old or Outdated Wiring
Most electrical wiring systems have a lifespan of around 30-40 years. However, around a third of the homes in the US have electrical wiring systems that are 50 years old or older. If your Baltimore home’s wiring is worn or outdated, there will likely be some signs that you shouldn’t ignore, including:
- Repeatedly of frequently tripping circuit breakers
- Fuses that frequently blow
- An over-reliance on extension cords or surge protectors
These are meant to be temporary solutions to problems, and they’re a normal of your home, you very well may be at risk of an electrical fire. Call our professionals to have your wiring inspected, and we can let you know if you need to have all or part of it replaced.
2. Aluminum Wiring
During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum wiring was very commonplace. Unfortunately, however, aluminum oxidizes very quickly, and oxidation can lead to corrosion. So while aluminum is adequate for a short time, it has a very short lifespan, and after your wiring has started to corrode, your Baltimore home will be left very vulnerable to an electrical fire.
You may need to have your entire home re-wired, or you may only need partial re-wiring or wiring repair. Either way, it’s important to have a professional electrician inspect your wiring to make sure that your home is as safe as possible.
3. Arc Faults
Arc faults occur when an electrical current veers from its intended path, and they are a leading cause of electrical fires.
Arc faults can be caused very easily: they may occur because a tree falls on a power line during a storm, or because you damaged the wiring inside your walls while moving furniture—or there may simply be a loose connection in an outlet.
Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs)can detect any arc faults in your Baltimore home’s electrical system and they’re a great way to prevent electrical fires. Especially if you live in an older home, these devices can easily prevent a disaster.