electrical-fireYour home could be at risk from an electrical fire. Some fire danger is hidden inside the walls, making it harder to prevent. But there are some signs that can help you address any problems and prevent electrical fires in your home.

If you have old wiring, you could be at risk for an electrical fire. The lifespan of most electrical wiring systems is about 30 – 40 years. But did you know that 30% of the homes in the United States have electrical systems that were set up over 50 years ago?

If your fuses blow repeatedly, or your circuit breaker trips up, or you have a ton of extension cords throughout your home, your electrical system might need to be updated. It’s a good idea to call in an electrician.

A lot of older homes also have aluminum wiring instead of copper. Aluminum oxidizes and corrodes more easily than copper, and may cause electrical fires. It can be expensive to replace and overhaul an entire wiring system, so what can also help is instead replacing copper connectors called pigtails at receptacles and breakers.

An arc fault is when an electrical current goes down a different path than it is intended to go. This is usually caused through some sort of breach in the wiring, and is a leading cause of electrical fires in the home. Arc faults can happen easily. If a connection is a little bit loose or a piece of wiring was damaged through the wall by something as innocuous as hanging a cabinet or picture, an arc fault can occur.

Arc faults can be nearly impossible to detect unless you have a device known as an arc-fault circuit interrupter. This device, also known as an AFCI, can sense any abnormality in your electrical wiring or your home appliances, and will shut down the circuit before it overheats and can cause a fire.

Lastly, you should avoid using counterfeit electrical appliances. Many flea markets and online stores sell appliances that are extremely low price. These low prices are often too good to be true, as these items are counterfeit electronics and can cause electrical fires in the home. This is because the parts they are made of are often inferior quality and can damage easily.

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