Ten Tips To Prevent Electrical Fires, The 2nd Largest Cause!
Our previous article explained the top causes of house fires.
Not surprisingly, cooking was the number one cause.
However, electrical problems are the second most prevalent cause of house fires.
The purpose of this article is to give you some tips to prevent electrical fires.
In addition, we explain how a thermal imaging inspection could identify potential electrical problems plus identify other problems your home may have.
Prevention is the key!
Top Ten Tips To Prevent Electrical Fires
A common cause of house fires is faulty electrical wiring. The following tips should be followed to prevent electrical fires. When in doubt, call an electrician.
- Call an electrician to check the fuse box or breaker panel. Ask the electrician to correct any damaged components.
- Call an electrician to inspect the wiring. Replace any old wiring if the electrician suggests you to do so and have him wrap any damaged portions of wiring with electrical tape temporarily.
- Check for broken plugs or switches.
- Do not overload any circuits. Limit the number of appliances you use and plug only into an appropriate outlet. Note that in most homes, the electrical load on a home is greatest during the evening when family members are consuming electricity using several appliances: cooking; running the dishwasher; watching television in the living room; browsing the internet; listening to the radio; etc.
- Avoid “octopus” connections, do not overload plugs.
- Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Use high quality and high standard electrical products when replacing wires or other components.
- Do not use damaged appliances.
- Install smoke and carbon dioxide alarms where required.
- Do not plug too many appliances into one extension cord. Use only high quality approved extension cords that can handle the load.
Benefits of Thermal Imaging
In addition to getting the wiring of your home inspected by an electrician, you may also want to consider thermal imaging because it can help identify potential, hidden electrical issues.
What Is Thermal Imaging?
Thermal Imaging, also known as Infrared Thermography, are visual displays of the amount of infrared energy emitted, transmitted, and reflected by an object. Thermal imaging uses high tech cameras that create pictures of heat rather than light.
Thermal imaging can assist homeowners in three unique ways.
- Identify Moisture Intrusion
- Detect Insufficient or Improperly Installed Insulation
- Identify Electrical Hot Spots
1. Identify Moisture Intrusion
Thermal imaging can detect potential moisture or water intrusion behind a wall by detecting the temperature variations behind the wally and identifying the cold spots.
Once a cold spot is found, a moisture meter can be used to verify if there is moisture behind the wall. Once the moisture problem is found, it is imperative that it is fixed to prevent further mold growth and poor health.
One of the key benefits offered using this method to identify the moisture problem is the potential savings in repairing the problem. For instance, if a leaky pipe is identified behind a wall, just the portion of drywall adjacent to the area where the leak is will need to be removed so the plumber can properly fix the leak.
Ultimately, identifying the cause of moisture and fixing it will prevent future mold growth that could impact the structural integrity and value of the home, not to mention the potential health impact that mold has.
2. Detect Insufficient or Improperly Installed Insulation
Thermal imaging detects hot/cold spots on walls where insulation could have slouched over time, was incorrectly installed, or where insulation was never installed at all. If you are trying to reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer, this is very important to know.
3. Identify Electrical Hot Spots
Finally, fires are often started by faulty wiring and electrical components in the home. Thermal imaging can identify electrical hot spots which are caused by loose, damaged, or dirty connections which cause heating issues. When this occurs, over time the connections can degrade causing the circuit breaker to trip or fail and eventually start a fire.
Thermal imaging is essential for new and existing homeowners because it can detect serious problems that the naked eye can not see, including plumbing leaks; moisture intrusion; inadequate or non-existent insulation; heating and cooling losses; abnormal heat from an appliance or electrical system; unwanted animals; and poor construction.
All of these problems can cause extensive damage to your home.
Considering the second highest cause of house fires is electrical issues, this aspect of your home maintenance should be maintained.
Schedule an appointment with your electrician and if you are concerned about possible hidden electrical hot spots, invest in thermal imaging.
The other benefit that thermal imaging offers is that it can also identify potential moisture intrusion in addition to heating and cooling losses.
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