Maintaining Your Electric System
Each year many fires break out in homes and commercial buildings due to a failure in the electrical system. While not every electrical fire can be prevented, there are precautions which can be taken to lessen this risk.
Electrical fires can be caused by:
- Broken wires
- Wire insulation drying out
- Loose switches or receptacles
- Overheating caused by dirt an oil
Allstate Insurance company recommends that you have your electrical system checked by a licensed electrician every four years. Having an electrician assess the electrical system will ensure that your home or building is up to code and that any issues are addressed. If you see an appliance that has a broken wire, fix the wire immediately or replace the appliance. While replacement may be costly, it will reduce the chance of a fire. Tighten any switch or plug that appears loose. It is important that switches and plugs are secure. Remember not to overload outlets. If necessary use an electrical adapter with surge protection.
Studies show that faulty wiring is the number 1 cause of electrical fires. Watch for warning signs of faulty wiring:
- Flickering lights
- Breakers that always trip
- Fuses that blow
- A burning smell when appliances are plugged in
- Outlets/switches that spark when plugging in or unplugging an appliance
- Discoloration around outlets
Remember that prevention is the key to safety! Electrical fires spread quickly and can be life threatening and costly. Call your local electrician if you have specific questions or concerns about something in a home of building that you own. Working with electrical work can be very dangerous and it is important to hire an experienced technician to complete any necessary electrical work.