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5 Electrical Fire Hazards in Properties That are Avoidable


What’s the true importance of electrical safety?

Fire safety and electrical safety are two things that are spoken about with high importance, but all too often overlooked. Over time, it can be easy to forget. However, if you spend just a small amount of your day making sure everything is in the best shape possible, you could be preventing a disaster.

Whether you’re in domestic or commercial properties, fire hazards come in all disguises and can appear just about anywhere.

We’re going to break down some of the most common fire hazards that you could come across in your domestic or commercial properties, and how to prevent them from becoming a future threat to safety.

A handful of the most common electrical fire hazards

Some electrical issues that cause fire hazards may be completely overlooked. Worse yet, they might not even be recognised if the understanding of electrical fire hazards in general is weak. What could be passed off on a daily basis as normality, could be a huge threat without you knowing. Some electrical issues that can lead to danger that we are about to explain can be the difference between life and death, so it’s strongly advisable you check that they aren’t present in your domestic or commercial properties.

1. Overloading circuits

Even though it’s easy to plug things in where the most convenient point is, it’s a decision like this which could cause danger. If circuits are overloaded with too many appliances plugged in, this could lead to overheating.

If a circuit overheats from overloading, this can lead to a fire. This can be a common issue in homes where electrical appliances are overloaded into one circuit out of convenience. Similarly, machinery and office equipment can be the culprits of overloading circuits in commercial property.

It might take a little effort, but spreading electrical appliances over more available outlets will spread the load can eliminate the risk.

2. Outdated electrical systems

If you move into a property that is slightly on the older side, the state of the electrics may not be on the forefront of your mind. Over time, the quality of wiring can diminish, with its capabilities becoming more limited. Older properties and their electrical systems are not always prepared to handle modern electrical loads.

With older electrical systems not being capable to accommodate modern electrical loads, this could lead to a series of issues, including overheating. If overheating occurs, we’ve already discussed how that can lead to electrical fires.

If you move into an older property for commercial or domestic use, it’s always a safe decision to check the state of the electrical systems, and make an upgrade if necessary.

3. Improper use of extension cords

Extension cords are fantastic, but taking them for granted can unknowingly lead to electrical dangers. Extension cords are a perfect solution to increasing the number of outlets to meet the demands of the amount of electrical appliances needed, but these do need to be used as a short-term solution rather than a long-term one.

If extension cords are used as a set-and-forget, heavy usage over time can make them overloaded, which can damage the extension cord. Damage to the extension cords means that issues with the wiring and the capability of holding a vast amount of appliances can lead to fires.

Whilst extension cords come in handy, they shouldn’t be used as a permanent solution.

4. Water damage

It’s common knowledge that water and electric appliances aren’t a great mix. Even though exposure to water isn’t always on purpose, it’s an issue that happens more commonly than you think.

If there’s issues of leaks, flooding or condensation that aren’t immediately noticeable, this can escalate the threats that water damage can cause.

If electrical systems are exposed to water damage, this can consequently lead to short circuits and risks of electrocution.

That’s why it’s always important to be aware about where electrical equipment is located, and what threats that the environment could produce.

5. Incorrect use of lighting fixtures

We all need lights, and when we use them, we don’t think anything of it. By not paying close attention and without the correct knowledge, you could unknowingly be guilty of ‘overlamping’.

Overlamping is when a light bulb with a higher wattage is used than the light fixture is designed for. The issues that can stem from this include overheating, which is a catalyst for a fire.

This is a problem that is commonly overlooked in both commercial and domestic properties, especially when anyone is allocated the job to change a bulb. This could happen, and you have absolutely no knowledge of it happening!

By educating everyone in your commercial or domestic property of the issue of overlamping, this will improve your approach to fire safety.

Using electrical safety knowledge to stay safe

Whilst there are many more electrical risks that could lead to fire hazards, we’ve covered a handful of issues in this article so you can take some initial steps to keeping your commercial and domestic properties safer.

By having these issues in the forefront of your mind, you’ll know what hazards need to be addressed as soon as you encounter them.

If you need help identifying hazards, you can make the most of our Electrical Testing and Fire Risk Assessment services. If you feel like your appliances need testing, or you need a helping hand with finding potential hazards that can lead to fires, this is a crucial step to keeping your commercial or domestic property safe.