Top Causes of Electrical Fires in Homes: How to Prevent Them

Top Causes of Electrical Fires in Homes

Do you know that electrical fires are one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths in the United States? In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, they account for more than 42,000 fires each year. That is why it is important to be aware of the top causes of electrical fires in homes and take steps to prevent them. This blog post will discuss the top three causes of electrical fires and how you can protect your home from them.

The 7 Most Common Causes of Electrical Fires in the Home

There are many causes of electrical fires, but some are more common than others. Here are the seven most common causes of electrical fires in the home:

Using Extension Cords and Plugs Improperly

Extension cords are not meant to be a permanent solution for powering appliances. If you need to use an extension cord, ensure it is the right size for the appliance and does not overload the circuit. Do not place them under rugs or furniture, as this can cause them to overheat.

Electrical Wiring That is Outdated or Damaged

If your home has old knob-and-tube wiring, it needs to be replaced. This type of wiring is a fire hazard and is no longer up to code in most areas. If you have any damage to your electrical wiring, have it repaired by a licensed electrician as soon as possible. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires.

Overloaded Outlets and Circuits

Another leading cause of electrical fires is overloaded outlets and circuits. This often happens during the holidays when people plug in multiple lights and decorations. To avoid this, do not plug more than one appliance into each outlet, and do not overload your circuits by plugging in too many items at once. If you need to use extension cords, ensure they are the appropriate size for the appliance, and do not place them under rugs or furniture where they can overheat.

Appliances That are Not Being Used Correctly

Many appliances have safety features that must be followed to prevent fires. For example, space heaters should always be kept away from flammable materials like curtains, blankets, and clothes. If an appliance starts to overheat, unplug it immediately and do not use it again until you have checked it by a professional.

Faulty Wiring

One of the most common causes of electrical fires is faulty wiring. This can be caused by many things, including water damage, animals chewing on wires, or old age. If you suspect that your home has any faulty wiring, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified electrician as soon as possible.

Faulty Electrical Outlets and Aging Appliances

Another common cause of electrical fires is faulty electrical outlets. Over time, the outlets in your home can become worn and loose, which can cause sparks and eventually a fire. Additionally, older appliances can also pose a risk of fire. If you have appliances over a few years old, it is important to have them checked by a qualified appliance repair technician to ensure they are safe to use.

How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Homes

Electrical fires are preventable if you take the proper precautions. Some of the best ways to prevent electrical fires in your home include:

Have an Electrical Inspection: One of the best ways to prevent electrical fires is to have a professional inspection of your home’s wiring. They will be able to identify any areas at risk and make recommendations for repairs or replacement.

Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters: These devices are designed to shut off power to an electrical circuit if there is a ground fault. This can help to prevent fires caused by faulty wiring.

Do not overload outlets: It is important not to overload outlets in your home. If you need multiple appliances in one outlet, use a power strip with built-in circuit protection.

Be aware of signs of trouble: If you notice any sparks, burning smells, or flickering lights in your home, these may be signs that there is a problem with your electrical system. Contact a professional for electrician services in Allentown to have them check it out as soon as possible.


Electrical fires are a danger in any home. Knowing the top causes of electrical fires can help you take steps to prevent them in your own home. Be sure to use surge protectors and keep cords and wires organized and away from heat sources. If you experience an electrical fire, remember to stay calm and get out of the house safely. Have a plan for what to do if a fire starts so that you’re prepared in an emergency.