Many households are becoming havens for electric gadgets. Electronic tools now have a place in many rooms of the house and serve a variety of purposes. Outlets are becoming clogged with chargers of many different handheld gadgets and appliances. As more of these devices reside in the home the risks of electrical fires increase and can cause severe damage to the appliances and even the home itself. It behooves any homeowner to make the necessary precautions when purchasing and installing devices and gadgetry to ensure that the risk of fire decreases.
Trouble With Overloaded Plugs
Every person likes to have his or her “spot” in the home – a spot of comfort providing the most convenience to him or her. This means that whatever they may need will be easily accessible within reach. Handheld devices like phones, tablets, the television, or computer is all in one central location. This can be a major risk of electrical fire when all these devices are plugged in nearby.
Overloading an outlet or plugging too many things into an extension cord, or power strip, is a huge risk. It increases the chance that these devices can cause a spark. A spark is not a big deal on its own but if it starts near anything flammable like a rug, carpets, more electrical devices, than it can be the start of a fire. When plugging in devices, make sure that the power is distributed safely across a room to decrease the risk of starting an easily prevented fire.
While you are moving around the plugs for all these devices look over the quality of the cords. Frayed cords, or exposed wires can also cause electrical fires. These could begin to melt anything around it, as they have the potential to reach incredible temperatures. These faults could also occur in any aging wiring located within the house. If you are noticing that fuses continue to be tripped or outlets are faulty, your wires may be at risk and hiring an electrician may be necessary. According to the United States Fire Administration, about a third of all electrical fires are caused by faulty wiring.
Gadgets Can Help Protect Gadgets
Besides these preventative measures, homeowners could take proactive steps towards making their home fire-free. By purchasing new and quality gadgets and wiring people are reducing the risk started by old wires. Buying quality electronics could also prevent an individual from purchasing lesser quality, or even counterfeit, products that increase the risk. Devices known as arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) detect when an arc fault occurs and stops the electricity before it overheats. These have been known to prevent 50-75 percent of arc fault fires. Apps are also available on iOS and Android devices that help individuals examine and detect possible fire threats to the home and could aid people at risk.
Electrical fires can occur in a matter of seconds and can be disastrous. It is important for homeowners to understand the risks of having too many devices plugged into their home. There are preventative measures as well as steps to be taken in the event of an emergency. A fire extinguisher capable of handling electrical fires should be kept on hand or nearby possible threatening areas and its use should be understood to help defend against these dangers.