There are more than 50 deaths from house fires per year in Australia, which is more than the number of people killed by natural disasters. Of course, part of the issue can be mobility problems and inferior build materials that give you as little as three minutes to get out of the burning building.
That is why it is worth knowing the most common causes of electrical fires at home and having a level 2 electrician look at it. You can click here to have your systems checked every year. This is the most effective way of ensuring your electrics are safe and reducing the likelihood of a fire starting.
Faulty Sockets & Appliances
A faulty appliance creates a short circuit in your system. In theory, this short circuit should be detected by the circuit breaker which will cut the power to the circuit in less than a second. But, if you don’t have modern circuit breakers or they are also faulty then the faulty appliance will keep shorting the circuit potentially causing a spark that can start a fire.
It is not just the appliance that can be an issue. Sockets take a lot of abuse as things are plugged in and out on a regular basis. This can loosen the connections inside the socket or damage the pins. The result is a spark inside the socket, most noticeable when you plug and unplug items. This spark can start a fire.
Portable heaters are an effective way to heat specific spaces in your house. They can often be cheaper when you only want to warm one area of your home, not the entire house. However, they are also dangerous, especially if left alone.
When positioned too close to sift furnishings the heat of the fire can cause the soft furnishings to catch fire, it will quickly spread. Equally, the fire can be knocked over and cause the carpet or something else on the floor to catch fire.
Extension cables are useful when there is not a socket near where you want one. However, many people have an extension cable that is too long and simply unwind what they need. Unfortunately, electricity passing through wires generates heat. When the cable is coiled the heat builds very quickly, you may be surprised how quickly this can start a fire and cause you a lot of issues.
Wiring naturally deteriorates over time and it can be attacked by rodents and other pests you don’t know are in your home. When the protective sheath is gone the heat or a spark can ignite combustible material and start a fire.
But, bad wiring can also be when you have done it yourself and not connected the circuits properly, causing shorts and increasing the risk of a fire.
Light bulbs get very hot when they are in use. This places a large amount of stress on the connections. Over time these can become brittle and break, leaving the wires exposed and allowing them to short and the resulting spark can start a fire.
Taking sensible precautions, including an annual inspection is essential if you want to avoid a house fire.