Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of house fires, and can pose a significant risk to brick-and-mortar businesses. Over the last few years, electrical failure has been responsible for thousands of house structure fires and has caused millions of dollars in damages. Through the simple implementation of safety precautions and routines, you can significantly reduce your chances of suffering from an electrical fire.

The good news is that you don’t even need specialized training on how to prevent electrical fires to reduce the risk. You simply need to implement some key safety tips. We are happy to share some of these easy observations, checks, and practices that can be completed without an electrician, and will address electrical fires, causes, and prevention.

How to Prevent Electrical Fires


Creating a habit of unplugging any small appliance which produces heat is a big step for preventing electrical fires. Space heaters, curling and clothes irons, and toasters are all great choices to unplug immediately after use for safety and to reduce the electric bill.

Check For Heat

Light switches which feel warm, and fuse boxes or wires which become hot are concerning signs of failing or improper wiring. Heat generated from faulty connections can start electrical fires, and poor wiring at these junctions typically indicates there are additional wiring issues and safety concerns.

Look at Light Bulbs

Make sure the light bulb wattage matches or is a lower wattage than what the fixture can accommodate. Too high a wattage stresses the system and creates a fire risk. Also, check if light bulbs are inserted or screwed in properly. Crooked and improper connections create a strain and increase the risk for electrical fires.

Avoid Overload (Extension Cords and Power Strips)

Extension cords are not a safe long-term solution for any space. Using an extension cord, or maxing out a power strip, frequently creates a larger power draw than the circuit is set up for. This increases the risk of overload, overheating and electrical fires. Possible solutions include reconfiguring the space to better use existing outlets or contacting an electrician about installing more outlets to fit your needs.

Keep Three For Safety (Third Prong)

Many electrical cords have a third prong as an important safety feature, which provides a “ground” in case of an electrical surge. Tampering with or removing this prong, can create situations where serious injury occurs, or a fire is started.

Watch For Trouble

Flickering, burning smells, scorch or black marks around the electrical socket, getting a shock when plugging in, and hissing, humming or other sounds are signs of trouble. Contact an electrician promptly to identify and remedy the problem.

B & W Electric For Home And Electrical Commercial Services

Upgrading or fixing your home or commercial electrical system and appliances is not the easiest task. However, a mix of DIY approaches, along with the help of a professional team, can help you get the job done quickly and properly. After all, when it comes to ensuring safety of your home or business, electric components are definitely something you want done right.

Take advantage of the projects you can do on your own, but for the more involved or risky jobs, it is best to call a professional electrician. Browse our residential and electrical commercial services today, and please contact us with any questions you may have.