Homeowners are often on the lookout for electrical dangers that can spark an electrical fire in their homes. In many cases, replacing old wiring, having charred or blackened electrical outlets replaced and replacing frayed wires on extension cords can do a lot to prevent an electrical fire in your home.
However, there are other hidden electrical fire hazards that you need to be aware of. Here is a look at the main hidden dangers and how you can protect you home and property from a devastating electrical mishap.
Arc faults refer to a release of electric current from charged wires or cords. Sparks from degraded wiring can easily ignite carpeting, furniture or other surrounding materials, causing an electrical fire.
Old wiring that is damaged by rodents or heat is especially vulnerable to arc faults and should be replaced by a certified electrician. You should also have your electrician inspect wiring installed behind walls for damage caused by nails and screws. Loose wiring connections in light fixtures or electrical outlets should also be fixed to prevent sparking.
To prevent arc faults in your home, you should avoid plugging in too many appliances or lights in one circuit, as this could overload the outlet and cause sparking. Additionally, avoid placing electrical cords too close to furniture, as a chair could easily pinch the wiring and damage the insulation.
Finally, avoid purchasing counterfeit power strips, extension cords, or night lights, as they often have inferior wiring that could easily melt or create a loose connection, causing an arc fault. Be sure to purchase your home electrical products from a reputable retailer or ask your electrician for recommendations of brands that are safe.
Lack of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
A home with no GFCIs can be prone to deadly electric shocks and electric shorts that could spark fire. Ground fault circuit interrupters should typically be installed in areas where an electrical outlet could come into contact with water and cause a current leak, such as in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry rooms and outside.
GFCIs also protect you from the risk of electrocution from electrical outlets and appliances by constantly monitoring the current flowing in and out of electrical circuits. Any discrepancy in the current, triggers an immediate shutdown of the electric circuit.
A residential electrician can come in and check whether all circuits that pose a risk of electric current leaks have a ground fault circuit interrupter installed so as to keep your home safe.