What Causes Electrical Fires in a Home?

Home Security Services

01 Jul What Causes Electrical Fires in a Home?

When a fire breaks-out, most people just assume that it’s been caused by some inflammable substance. While that might be the case, it’s important to keep in mind that fires can also be caused by electricity. The one thing to keep in mind is that an electrical fire can’t be doused by water. Faulty or old electrical installations can lead to a fire and cause untold damage to life and property.

3 main causes of electrical fires

There are times when the electrical equipment or appliances in an electrical system can be the cause of overheating & overload, which can end up causing a fire. So, exactly what is it that causes an electrical fire? There are three main reasons, let’s take a detailed look at what these are and what can be done to prevent this from occurring:

#1 Old/incorrect wiring installation

Some properties have wiring that is decades old and electrical wires do tend to deteriorate with age. In fact, if the wiring in your house is over 15 years old, the recommendation is that you should get the entire property rewired. Older wiring wasn’t designed to bear the electricity load that current-day appliances demand. At times the electrical contractor might have cut corners and installed wiring of poor quality and this can lead to a similar problem, both of which can result in fires.

#2 Electrical arcing

Arcing is quite a common problem with electrical wiring. As mentioned earlier, most homes have a range of heavy-duty electrical appliances. When you run a number of these appliances simultaneously in your home, it results in overloading and overheating of the wires. If the wiring is old, it will get heated up which will cause the insulation around it to melt – this results in arcing and an electrical fire may erupt too.

#3 External Heating

There are times when electrical wires are just too close to an external heat source which causes the outer insulating sheath of the wiring to melt. If this goes unnoticed, it can result in an arcing and fire.

Regardless of what has caused the electrical fire, if you attempt to contain it by pouring water on it that will escalate the issue. Water doesn’t have any effect on electrical fires; in fact, if you try to use water to douse an electrical fire, you can get electrocuted. What you need to deal with an electrical fire is a Class C fire extinguisher.

This type of extinguisher has dry chemicals that help contain the fire. Depending on how severe the fire is, it might be possible to completely bring it under control using a Class C fire extinguisher. If you don’t have this extinguisher, baking soda might help to some extent.

How to handle an electrical fire breakout situation

In case there is a break-out of fire on your property, the first thing you should do is switch off the power-mains; this is effective in containing the fire. Ideally every home and commercial establishment should have a Class C fire extinguisher or two, based on the size of the property and that should be used in case of any fire in the electrical wiring. An electrical fire is an electrical emergency and it’s crucial that you keep the number of a local, reliable electrician handy.

Never try to fix any electrical issues on your own. That can only lead to more complications and will compromise the safety of your property. We at Allround Electrical can rectify all types of electrical faults and we provide a range of electrical services. For more information, contact our friendly team today at this number – 1300 169 263. You can also write to us at this email address. You may also reach us through this online contact form.

Thanks for reading,
Allround Electrical
1300 169 263

In a new or old home you need to ensure your family's safety around electricity.