The Most Common Causes Of Electrical Fires in the Home

Common Causes Of Electrical Fires in the Home

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Owning your own home is a great feeling. It’s the place to relax, unwind, and do your own thing. It’s also somewhere that you can make changes and stamp your own unique style on. But, being a homeowner comes with responsibility.

Your house needs regular maintenance to keep it in the best condition. This ensures your ongoing maintenance costs are minimal and you’re less likely to have a fire.

A fire can devastate your home and house fires kill at least 50 people per year. There are many reasons why a fire can start. However, it’s estimated that in 40% of cases the cause is an electrical issue.

That’s why it’s essential that you contact a local and reputable level 2 electrician and have your electrics checked annually, this will reduce the risk. It’s also a good idea to be aware of the most common causes of electrical house fires. It will help you to prevent them from happening:

Bad Wiring

Bad wiring generally refers to cables that have lost their protective sheath or wiring that has been done incorrectly. This results in a high risk of wires touching against each other. When this happens the wires spark, the spark should result in the circuit breaking tripping, and cutting the power supply. However, the spark can also ignite anything combustible near the wiring. If this catches fire it can quickly spread.

Of course, the fire may start behind the internal wall, meaning that you don’t realize it straight away.


Every circuit is designed to handle a certain amount of current. However, the only limit on the current that can be drawn is the circuit breaker. If this is overrated and you plug too many appliances into one circuit, the breaker won’t trip when it’s supposed to.

This means that the cables will get hot and eventually melt the protective wiring. This will result in the wires touching together, as described above potentially causing a fire.

This problem is easily avoided by making sure you don’t plug too many things into the same circuit. If you need more circuits then speak to your electrician about adding them properly.

Then you won’t need extension cables or to overload circuits.

Portable Heaters

Sometimes a portable heater is the most effective way to heat the space you’re sat in. It may not seem economical or wise to heat the rest of the home.

However, portable heaters are one of the biggest causes of fires. They put out significant amounts of heat and are often positioned too close to flammable objects. If you leave the heater on and leave the room, a badly positioned heater can start a fire.

Old Wiring

The older your wiring the more likely it is that the outer sheath will have been damaged, increasing the risk of short circuits and fires starting. If your wiring is more than twenty years old, you need to think about replacing it.

Final Thoughts

Annual electrical inspections save lives, as does being vigilant. If you notice any issues with your electricity then stop using the affected circuits and get professional help.