3 Electrical Installation Mistakes That Can Cause House Fires

Posted on: 6 January 2015

Nothing is more terrifying to most homeowners than the idea of their home burning to the ground. In addition to potentially harming your family, a house fire can obliterate all of your belongings in a few minutes. Unfortunately, a few electrical installation mistakes can cost you your home and jeopardize your family's safety. Here are three electrical installation mistakes that can lead to house fires, and what you can do to fend off future problems.

1: Permanent Extension Cord Use

When you set up that new entertainment center or finally invest in a nice nightstand, you might find yourself in need of a few extra electrical outlets. Because your alarm clock, cell phone charger, and sound system plugs won't fit into that single two-plug outlet, you might be tempted to run an extension cord to the area to power all of your devices.

Unfortunately, extension cords aren't meant for permanent use, and keeping them in the same place for too long can cause trouble. Extension cords tend to take a lot of abuse, which can damage their internal wiring and cause shorts. Unfortunately, shorts can generate heat, and start fires. In fact, bad extension cords cause about 3,300 house fires a year.  

If you want to stay safe, only use extension cords temporarily. If you need an extra outlet, pay a professional electrical contractor to run a new line to the area. 

2: Lines Run Under Carpet

Sometimes, you can even cause house fires by routing your electrical cords the wrong way. If you are using an outlet across the room to power a device, you might decide to snake that cable underneath the carpet. Although this simple practice might seem harmless, those cords can become heavily damaged as they are trampled underfoot.

As your kids run and jump around on the carpet, it can create friction and pressure inside of the cable, which can disrupt the natural flow of current. If the cord becomes frayed, it can spark a fire in an instant. Do yourself a favor, and never run cables or cords underneath your carpet. If you need to reroute cables, hire a professional to snake them through your walls, where they will be left alone.

3: Using the Wrong Light Bulbs

If you want to instantly boost the light levels in your home, you might think about replacing those boring 40-watt bulbs with a brighter version. Unfortunately, light fixtures are created to handle a certain amount of current, and using the wrong wattage can burn out the wires and generate extra heat. To keep your light fixtures from starting on fire, only use bulbs rated for the device.

Working with a professional electrician and making smart electrical installation choices might help you to keep your home and family safe.  

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No Place Is As Important As Where You Live

I'm Maryann Delgado and I am very happy with the success my life has brought. One thing I have learned is to never underestimate the importance of your property, whether it is a storefront or your home. We spend the majority of our time in our homes, working and living our lives. I have visited many properties that just feel off. Those who live in work on these properties don't understand the changes that can be made to how they construct their buildings. I have had to learn everything I can about construction in order to build my perfect home and I have many lessons I'd love to teach to others.

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