Top 5 Causes of Electrical Fires You Need to Know About

Author: Passey Electric. |


Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of home fires globally. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical fires account for approximately one-fifth of all residential fires

Electrical fires are dangerous and can lead to loss of property and even life. This article will explore the five most common causes of electrical fires and how to prevent them.

1. Faulty Wiring

Electrical wiring can become damaged over time, leading to exposure of electrical wires, short circuits, and overheating. Faulty wiring can also result from poor installation or use of substandard electrical components. 

The risk of electrical fires increases in older homes with outdated wiring systems. It is essential to have a professional electrician inspect the wiring system in your home regularly to identify any potential issues and replace faulty wiring. 

Suppose you notice any signs of faulty wirings, such as flickering lights, burning smells, or discolored outlets. In that case, you should immediately stop using the affected electrical components and call a professional electrician.

2. Overloaded Circuits

An overloaded circuit occurs when too many electrical devices are connected to a single course, exceeding the maximum amperage rating of the circuit. Overloaded circuits can cause electrical wires to overheat and ignite fires. The risk of overloaded circuits is high in homes with older wiring systems or insufficient electrical outlets. 

You should only connect a few electrical devices to a single course to prevent overloading circuits. Instead, consider installing additional electrical outlets or upgrading your home's electrical system to accommodate your power needs.

3. Electrical Appliances

Electrical appliances such as space heaters, dryers, and stoves can cause electrical fires if misused. Devices with faulty components or damaged electrical cords can overheat and ignite fires. It is essential to have your electrical appliances inspected regularly by a professional to identify any potential issues. 

Additionally, you should avoid using damaged devices and always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using electrical appliances. Never leave electrical appliances unattended when in use, and always unplug them when not in use.

4. Light Fixtures

Light fixtures can also cause electrical fires if not installed correctly or have faulty components. Light fixtures that use bulbs with higher wattage than recommended can overheat and ignite fires. 

Moreover, installing light fixtures near combustible materials such as curtains and plastics can cause fires. It is essential to have your light fixtures installed by a professional electrician and use bulbs with the recommended wattage. Avoid installing light fixtures near combustible materials and ensure they are not damaged or show signs of wear and tear.

5. Extension Cords 

Extension cords are convenient electrical components that allow you to power electrical devices from a distance. However, they can also cause electrical fires if not used correctly. Extension cords that are overloaded or damaged can overheat and ignite fires. 

It is essential to use extension cords only for temporary power needs and avoid using them as a permanent power source. Additionally, you should avoid connecting too many electrical devices to a single extension cord and always use rated extension cords for your power needs.

How a Residential Electrical Service Can Help You Stay Safe

Hiring a residential electrical service for preventative maintenance and assessments of your home's electrical system is necessary. They can inspect your wiring, test circuit breakers, and check receptacles and outlets.


Electrical fires are preventable if you take the necessary precautions to ensure your electrical components are in good working condition. A professional electrician must regularly inspect your home's electrical system and replace faulty wiring or damaged parts. By taking these preventative measures and hiring electrical solutions, you can protect your home and family from electrical fires and enjoy the benefits of a safe electrical system.

Passey Electric offers comprehensive electrical solutions for homes, farms, and commercial buildings. Whether you require new construction or maintenance, we have the resources and expertise to meet your demands. Contact us today if you need reliable residential electrical services!