28,500 – That doesn’t seem like a large number on its own, but when you attached the words “electrical fires per year” after it, it can make your jaw drop. 28,500 is the number of electrical fires the United States Fire Administration records per year. These fires result in over 1 billion dollars’ worth of fire damage every year, are responsible for thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths. Most electrical fires can be prevented if the warning signs are caught in time.
Here are a few indicators that you may be at risk for electrical fires.
Worn Out Electrical Outlets
Over time, the constant unplugging and plugging in cords can cause electrical outlets to deteriorate. A few indicators of deterioration are loose fitting plugs, excessive sparking, scorch marks, and warm or hot outlets. If any of these indicators are present unplug any items plugged into the outlet and move them away from the outlet. Now would be a great time to contact an electrician to inspect your outlets. There are a few fire damage prevention steps you can take concerning electrical outlets:
Malfunctioning Light Switches
Believe it or not, but it is fairly common for a light switch to stop working. This doesn’t seem like a big enough issue to address but it can be a warning sign for other more serious electrical issues. If a light switch does stop working, make sure to get t fixed as soon as possible.
Odd Electrical Smells
This smell can be hard to pinpoint, it’s a mix of burning plastic and an acrid, smoky smell. It is best to be safe than sorry so when you do experience this smell get out of your home and contact 911. Don’t wait until there are flames visible! Keep in mind that extinguishing electrical fires with water isn’t the smartest idea, so make sure you have an ABC fire extinguisher in your home and in a place that is easy to reach. However, we do strongly suggest you let your local firefighters take care of any electrical fires for you. If there isn’t a fire, we recommend contacting an electrician to inspect the wiring in your home to determine if there is an electrical issue.
One of the more common causes of electrical fires is damaged wiring. Damaged wiring isn’t always visible and when wires become damaged internally they can short circuit, spark, and cause fire damage. If a wire is used long enough, the chances of it causing a fire increases over time. It is important to check any corded or wiring for fraying or damage. When a wires or cords do show signs of wear you may want to stop using them or replace them.
Taking note of these items will go along way in preventing fire damage disasters. You can rest easy knowing the risks of an electrical fire breaking out in your home are drastically lower. With that in mind, some fire damage disasters can’t be prevented no matter how vigilant you are. If a fire breaks out in your home contact the experts and JNT Restoration after the fire have been dealt with. We can get you back on your feet in no time!