According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 45,000 residential home electrical fires occur each year. Approximately half of those fires involve electrical wiring or lighting. Electrical fires in residences are caused by a number of different factors. These include appliance defects or misuse, faulty wiring, faulty electrical outlets, improper use of electrical outlets, improper light bulb sizing, improper use of extension cords, faulty circuit breaker panels, and aged equipment.
To avoid becoming a fire statistic, here are some tips to follow:
- Never plug an appliance into an extension cord.
- Always disconnect a small appliance, such as a coffee maker, when not in use.
- Never use a light bulb rated higher than the light socket.
- Never place combustibles near light bulbs in fixtures.
- Never overload a power strip.
- Always use power strips with overload protection.
- Never overload a wall outlet.
- Replace any electrical cords that are cracked, frayed, damaged, or loose.
- Never place a cord where it can become kinked or pinched.
- Always hire a qualified electrician when required electrical work is beyond your purview.
A qualified forensic electrical engineer can investigate an event involving electrical equipment and provide valuable information regarding the origin, cause, and extent of damage; and the reasonable scope and cost of repairs. Nelson’s electrical engineers investigate electrical fires and are experts at identifying errors in design, construction, and maintenance of electrical systems and components. They perform damage assessments and failure analysis on electrical systems that have been exposed to perils including storms, fires, lightning, floods, and water intrusion.
For more information contact Jamie Milks, P.E.