Electrical Fires are among the More Common Types of Fires
Types of Fire
We at SERVPRO of Dane County West deal with many types of fire damage. The main types of fires are:
- Class A fires involve combustible materials such as wood.
- Class B fires that involve flammable liquids.
- Class C fires involve flammable gases.
- Class D fires involve flammable metals.
- Class E fires are electrical.
- Class F fires from cooking oils and fats.
Electrical fires are among the more common types of fires we clean up and restore here at SERVPRO of Dane County West. Once the Fire Fighters have put out the fire, we are there 24/7 to restore the damage and rebuild a home or business and make it "Like it never even happened."®
What is an Electrical Fire?
An electrical fire is a malfunction or failure in electrical components that lead to a fire. These fires typically originate in cables, wires, circuit breakers, or electrical components. When the distribution of electricity is inadequate, panels, circuits, lighting equipment, and various electrical devices become overloaded and overheated, and fires can unfortunately start.
There following are common causes of electrical fires:
- Old Appliances and Equipment - Aging appliances and equipment cause a staggering number of electrical fires.
- Poor Maintenance – Regular electrical panel maintenance helps reduce fire risk.
- Outdated Wiring – Homes 20 years and older often do not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical usage in today’s average home.
- Devices such as computers, video gaming systems, air conditioners, and multiple appliances with high electrical needs contribute to increased electrical usage. Also, the aging electrical wire’s deterioration can easily arc and start a fire, especially if the circuit amperage does not match with the existing wire throughout an older home.
- Not Staying Up-to-Date with Safety Codes – With electrical usage on the rise, it’s imperative to keep us with current safety codes.
- Light Fixtures – Installing a bulb with a wattage too high for lamps and light fixtures is a common cause of electrical fires. It’s important to check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp before installing it.
- Extension Cords – The misuse of extension cords is another common cause of electrical fires. It’s important to note that appliances should always be directly plugged into an outlet rather than an extension cord. When in doubt, hire a certified electrician to determine the appropriate type of outlets needed for your appliances.
- Space Heaters – Since space heaters are portable, people often put them too close to items that are easily combustible such as clothing, beds, couches, rugs, chairs, carpet, etc. Please use extreme caution when using these!
- Electrical panels and circuit breakers trip due to overload, power spikes or surges, short circuits, and ground fault. If a circuit breaker fails, it can lead to a fire. Keeping your circuit breaker up-to-date and following current codes helps to reduce the failure rate.
What Are the Typical Signs of an Electrical Fire?
- If you smell a persistent burning smell and can’t figure out where it’s coming from, it’s often a sign of an electrical fire within the walls. If your circuit breakers keep tripping, it could mean that there is a trip to the electrical panel.
- If you see outlets and switches that are charred and discolored, it’s often a sign of excessive heat that has caused or could lead to a fire.
Should you experience any fire, SERVPRO of Dane County West understands the trauma that follows a fire loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. We are available 24/7 for emergency services to help you regain control quickly. We work with your insurance.
SERVPRO of Dane County West can help manage the insurance paperwork and process for a stress-free claims process.
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