Every year the South Carolina Department of Labor’s Fire and Life Safety Division collect various statistics related to fire fatalities in South Carolina. Unfortunately, South Carolina has already experienced 66 fatal fires which resulted in 81 fire fatalities. This is an increase from 2016 that reported a total of 69 fatal fires and 77 deaths. They also reported the number of fires caused by electrical increased from 9% to over 12% this past year. As your local electrical contractors in Charleston, South Carolina we want to help eliminate electrical fires and hazards.
How to reduce the risk of an electrical fire:
Inspect your electrical system
All electrical systems gradually deteriorate over time and it’s recommended tha-*t a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system every 3-5 years. That can vary depending on how old your home is how many appliances you have.
Ask yourself these Questions
- Is your home more than 15 years old?
- Do your lights flicker frequently?
- Do you have aluminum wiring in your house?
- Do you have fuses or breakers that have tripped in the last year?
- Do your outlets have loose fitting plugs?
- Do your circuit breakers frequently trip?
- Are your outlets and switches not working normally or discolored?
- Are outlets only 2 pronged instead of 3 pronged?
- Do the lights begin to dim when you turn on other appliances?
- Are extension cords or adapters used frequently to create additional outlets in your home?
If you experience any of these signs or have concerns about your electrical system, you should have your electrical system inspected now. This can help you avoid dangerous electrical fires and expensive repairs in the future.
Understand what can lead to an electrical fire.
Top 3 reason for Electrical Fires
- Natural consequence of long-time usage
- Old knob & tube equipment
- Lots of loose connections
- Vermin & water damage
- Frayed insulation
- Installed under outdated codes
- Still have fuses
- Aluminum wiring
#2 Increased Power Load
- The load today is much heavier than many older electrical systems were designed to handle.
- There are more electronics available to us today, than ever before. All of which use more power!
#3 Incomplete work
- Homeowners or unskilled handymen complete work that is not up to code!
- Do-it-Yourselfer’s, mostly do this to save money…
It is always important to be prepared for the possibility of an electrical fire. You should always have smoke detectors installed in their recommended locations and tested every 6 months. Check out this great video on smoke detectors safety. NEVER try to extinguish an electrical fire with water alone. Instead, use a Class C fire extinguisher, which can effectively put out fires that originate around wiring, outlets, appliances and circuit breakers. Then turn off the power at the electrical panel to prevent the fire from growing. Even if you think you can fight the fire, remember that your safety is most important. If the fire is beyond your control, evacuate your home immediately and call 9-1-1.