Do Faulty Wires Lead To Fires?

Tuesday 20th June 2023

Ellen Warren

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Fuse box on fire

CONTENTS

Faulty electricity in your home is one of the many hazards you could encounter. Besides the risk of electrocution or skin burns, you could become the victim of an electrical house fire quickly. Identifying risks sooner and maintaining your home is the best way to keep you safe.

If your property has suffered the effects of an electrical fire, you should not face this alone. Our expert technicians here at ICE Cleaning can step in to help with their fire damage cleaning services and make your home safe again.

Read on to learn more about how faulty wires lead to fires and what to do to prevent them.

How do fires happen?

The UK Home Office recently released fire and rescue statistics indicating that cooking appliances, including ovens and microwaves, were responsible for 45% of fires in the year ending March 2022.

The misuse of equipment or appliances was the cause of 31% of home fires, following cooking appliances. This statistic reflects how human error is often the catalyst for a house fire.

Cooking appliances have consistently remained the leading cause of fires in the UK due to negligent behaviour. This includes leaving food unattended on the stove or incorrectly using cooking oils and fat.

Installing a smoke alarm on every floor of your home can detect fires quickly and alert people to the danger before the fire spreads further.

It is also important to remember that cooking appliances are not the only source of home fires. Candles, smoking materials, and faulty wiring all result in fires, so take precautions with any potential fire hazards in the home.

How can faulty wiring lead to a fire?

Electrical fires are incredibly dangerous — combining intense heat with the risk of electrocution makes it a complex fire type to tackle.

Electrical fires are sometimes due to failures or malfunctions in the components in wires, fuse boards, cables, and outlets. Electricity is a delicate element that requires professional and qualified individuals to regulate it.

The leading cause of electrical fires is poor maintenance which could be associated with faulty wiring or the accumulation of dirt and debris within electrical panels.

These cause heat to build up within the exposed or frayed wiring which eventually causes sparks that start a fire. Flammables and faulty wiring, like a broken outlet next to a dry Christmas tree, lead to a fire that can get out of control quickly and consume a house in just five minutes.

Can rewiring your home prevent fires?

Maintaining your house is integral to preventing any fire type in your home. Clutter and debris create an unsafe environment that leaves flammable elements exposed to fire hazards.

If you notice frayed, exposed, or old wires, then it is integral that you replace them immediately. Rewiring your home will reduce the likelihood of an electrical fire, however, there are other things you can do to prevent it:

  • Use surge-protected extensions
  • Do not overuse electrical outlets often
  • Replace or dispose of damaged plugs and damaged electrical appliances
  • Ensure you unplug heat-producing appliances when you are finished
  • Install a circuit breaker
  • Identify electrical risks of hazards

How to know if your home needs new wiring

Fires are less likely to happen if you stay aware and watch for any signs of electrical issues. By remaining vigilant, you could prevent a house fire from ever starting.

However, do not try to rewire or fix electrical products yourself. Hiring a registered electrician will keep you and your house safe from an electrical fire. You must contact an electrician if you notice:

  • A fuse box or circuit breaker tripping often
  • Your outlets are buzzing, hot to the touch, or discoloured
  • Feeling a small shock using switches or outlets
  • The frequent smell of burning plastic
  • An appliance or outlet is sparking
  • Lights flickering or dimming upon being switched on

What to do if you experienced an electrical fire

A fire, regardless of how it started, will devastate a property visibly. However, there are many invisible risks that you might detect through a pungent smell, which causes damage as you breathe it in.

Aside from the soot and ash scattered across your home, smoke and soot particles will linger in the air. The particles are smaller than red blood cells, meaning they can enter the lining of your lungs and bloodstream.

If your house has been damaged by a fire involving electricity, securing a place to stay afterwards is essential. You should contact your local council to inquire about temporary accommodation. After a fire, you must:

  • Ensure the electricity, gas, and water supply are switched off
  • Dispose of fire-damaged furniture and clothes
  • Dispose of or send smoke-damaged fabrics to a professional cleaner
  • Discard all affected food, drinks, medicines, and cosmetics
  • Open the doors and windows to the property to allow air to escape
  • Place fans in affected rooms to circulate air
  • Purchase an air purifier and dehumidifier to prevent mould growth
  • Take pictures of all fire and smoke damage for your insurance company
  • Contact a professional cleaning company for fire clean-up services

Get in touch

Restoring your property to its original state after a fire is crucial and requires both fire restoration and smoke odour removal services. At ICE Cleaning, we can help you through this difficult process with our fire cleaning services provided by our skilled specialist cleaners.

If you have any questions about our services or want to request a free site survey, you can get in touch at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We can be on-site at your earliest convenience and offer advice 24/7, 365 days a year, nationwide.

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