Combustion in the Kitchen: 4 Common Causes of Home Electrical Fires

A house fire is one of the most terrifying experiences any family can go through. Like so many problems, the best option is to prevent a house fire from occurring in the first place. To effectively prevent fires, homeowners should understand their most common causes and take steps to address those causes. Electrical issues are among the most notorious reasons for house fires, many of which occur under the following conditions.

Home Electrical Fire - Combustion in the Kitchen: 4 Common Causes of Home Electrical Fires

Unused Items Left Plugged In

Every kitchen is populated with a small army of countertop appliances, from coffee makers to stand mixers. When they are left plugged in 24 hours a day, they remain energized and, if something malfunctions, capable of starting a fire. Simply unplugging any unneeded appliance can remove it from the list of potential sources of fires.

Poor Management of Cords


Another good reason to unplug items is because so many kitchens are overusing their outlets. The sheer number of appliances leads to careless use of extension cords, power strips, and other multi-plug items. Many of these accessories are not designed for the heavy power loads demanded of them, so short-circuits and overheating often result. Other cords are damaged by foot traffic when they are covered with rugs.

Slow Response to Problems

Some electrical problems are unexpected, but many others have been giving warning signs for a while before there is actually a fire. Breakers that trip repeatedly, appliances that do not operate normally, and lights that flicker or seem too dim or too bright can eventually result in a fire. Any such issue should be checked out at the first signs of trouble.

Outdated Wiring

All the extra demands in modern homes can be too much for the electrical system in an older home. There may not be enough capacity, or there could simply be weak points in the wire from years bent at a sharp angle. Home fires often occur as a result of wiring that is outdated in design or materials. A proper inspection by a qualified electrician is the best way to address these deficiencies before they cause a fire.

Most electrical fires are easy to prevent because they can be traced back to problems that are easily repaired. Proper care of appliances and skilled electrical services are key to keeping homes functional and safe, and to avoiding the expensive and dangerous nightmare of a house fire.

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