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Too often, your home’s electrical system is the unseen villain behind home fires. Despite its ubiquity inside a home, electricity is not something you can simply look at, like a broken window or leaking pipe, to know that it needs maintenance or repair. Often it’s only when your heater acts up, a home appliance shorts out, or you actually smell something burning that it warrants your attention.

Residential fires as a result of electrical issues are more common in Canada than you may think. In fact, the latest numbers from the Council of Canadian Fire Marshal and Fire Commissioners noted that electrical issues are among the top five causes of home fire losses in Canada. Faulty electrical distribution and systems led to 1,092 fires, leading to 11 reported deaths and 60 cases of injury. At the same time, problems related to an appliance or other home accessories resulted in 312 fires and seven cases of injury.

These sobering facts might make you wonder: what are some of the most common causes of residential fires resulting from electricity?

Here are 3 leading causes of residential fires due to electrical issues:

1. Light Fixtures 

A great number of electrical fires at home involve light fixtures, such as light bulbs and lamps. Fires can often occur when you install a bulb with a higher wattage for a certain fixture or lamp. To avoid this problem, be sure to check the maximum recommended bulb wattage before installing a bulb and never attempt to go over the limit. 

2. Extension Cords 

Nowadays, there are myriad home electrical appliances that call for the use of the ever-popular extension cord. However, these can lead to fires, especially when you plug various appliances into the extension cord for a long time. Ideally, you should just plug an appliance directly into your wall outlet. Should you not have enough outlets in your home, go ahead and ask an electrician to install new ones.

3. Electrical Wiring 

As years go by, people often fail to replace their electrical wiring. This causes your wiring to become outdated and incapable of safely handling the increasing number of electrical appliances in your home, including your air conditioner, microwave, television and more. To avoid any electrical problems, be sure to call an electrician to update your wiring.

The key to avoiding an electrical fire in your home is to take action as soon as possible if you suspect you may have some electrical issues. To be safe, do not attempt to deal with the problem yourself. Instead, call an experienced electrician to examine and fix your home’s electrical problems. Do it before the unseen rears its ominous head. 

Fire Losses In Canada,
5 common causes of electrical fires,