Electrical Fire Hazards Hiding in Your Home


We previously wrote about preventable fire insurance claims such as fires from cigarettes, candles and heat generating appliances. The risk of these fires and their source are not only preventable but easily indefinable. One type of fire we did not discuss was electrical fires, which tend to give very little warning. Many electrical fire insurance claims we often see can be prevented with proper maintenance, inspection and knowledge of the warning signs.

There are many different sources of electrical fire hazards including wiring of the home, electrical outlets, lighting and appliances.

Common causes of electrical fire insurance claims

  • Outdated wiring
  • Loose wire connections which can cause sparks and overheating
  • Deterioration of cables
  • Undersized/Overused wiring
  • DIY renovations or home additions.
  • Electrical alterations
  • Faulty or old electrical outlets
  • Overloaded electrical outlets and misuse extension cords
  • Using a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for the light fixture

Electrical fire prevention tips

  • Older homes, especially homes over 40 years old, should be assessed by a trained safety expert. For more information on safety assessments visit Power check.
  • Renovations, additional and electrical changes should be completed by a trained electrician.
  • Make sure you have sufficient amperage for your electrical needs.
  • Don’t plug extension cords into power bars, or connect multiple power bars. This can overload the electrical outlet.
  • Use correct light bulbs and wattage for light fixtures and lamps.
  • Don’t ignore electrical hazards and warning signs in your home.

Electrical fire hazard warning signs include

  • Fuses are overloaded and blowing
  • Dimming lights when another light or appliance is turned on
  • Extension cords connected together
  • Multiple extension cords plugged into the same outlet

Unfortunately not all fires are preventable. If a fire does occur in your home it is important to have an escape plan in place which includes a meeting place outside the home. Whether you live in a condo, own your own house or rent, a home insurance policy can help protect you fire does occur in your home. Fire insurance can help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. We also recommend double checking with your home insurance broker to ensure your coverage limits are sufficient for your needs. Contact a Westland Insurance broker today.