House Fires Caused by Faulty Electrical Wiring

The National Fire Protection Association in March of 2017 released a report titled “Electrical Fires” and was written by Richard Campbell.  This 126-page report documents the reasons for homes and non-dwelling unit structures to catch on fire.  Electrical Equipment is in the Top 5 reasons for a home to catch fire, so we thought we would inform you on some of the key points so that you can protect your home and your property.

Between 2010 and 2014 Fire Departments throughout the United States responded to an average of 45,210 house fires per year that involved some form of failure or malfunction that was a contributing factor to the fire ignition.  As a result, these fires account for 420 deaths, over 1,350 injuries and a staggering $1.4 billion in property damage per year.

There were an estimated 16,070 non-home structure fires that involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction that were also reported to fire departments during each of those years.  These fires resulted in an estimated annual average of 12 civilian deaths, 210 civilian injuries, and $614 million in direct property damage.

There were an estimated 45,210 home structure fires in 2010-2014 involving electrical failure or malfunction. In 51% of these, the specific type of failure or malfunction was not classified.  When the type of failure or malfunction could be determined, some form of arcing was most often involved in these fires, with unspecified short circuit arcs in 25% of fires and short circuit arcs from defective or worn insulation in another 11% of fires. Other types of arcing events
included an arc or spark from operating equipment (6%), an arc from a faulty contact or broken conductor (5%), a short circuit arc from mechanical damage (4%), and a water-caused short-circuit arc (1%).

Here are the 5 most common causes of House Electrical Fires:  Faulty outlets and appliances, light fixtures, extension cords, space heaters, and wiring.  Most of these issues go unchecked and overlooked, simply assuming that if the device works, say a TV, that the circuit must be ok.  The integrity of the receptacle, the connection of the wires, and the insulation value of the wires are never questioned until the TV or other devices no longer works.  This is why we have over 45,000 house electrical fires every year.

Call Terrell Electric, LLC today so that we can inspect your home’s electrical system to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home.

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