The threat of faulty wiring to homes focuses on houses built before the 1950s. Why? Because in the 1950s, the electrical wiring standards were less stringent than today. While older homes were built to handle 30 amps of power, most newer homes demand 100 to 200 amps. This demand places a significant strain on a home’s wiring and electrical system. However, even newer homes are at risk for an electrical fire.
- Don’t run cords under carpeting, bedding or other combustible materials. Also, avoid placing cords across doorways or frequently traveled areas.
- Discard frayed or broken cords, and never splice two cords together.
- Don’t overload outlets or use extension cords in place of outlets. Call an electrician to install additional outlets as necessary.
- Ensure plugs fit snugly in outlets to prevent shock and excess heat.
The most common causes for electrical fires are:
- Incorrectly installed wiring
- Overloaded circuits and extension cords
- Defective or improper plugs, switches and outlets
- Misuse and poor maintenance of lighting
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Switches or outlets that are hot to touch and/or emit an acrid odor
- Discolored cords, outlets and switch plates
- Repeatedly blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers