Electrical Fires are the cause of over 20% of fires in Canada. That sounds like a low statistic but when you think about it, they should be entirely preventable. Faulty and outdated wiring is the number one reason electrical fires happen. Sometimes it’s a result of cheap, poorly done work and at other times it is due to damage that can build up over years. Here are the signs and preventable measures to know how to avoid electrical fires at all costs.
How do I know if I’m at risk for an electrical fire?
If the following of these happen to you in your home frequently, you may be at risk:
- Flickering lights
- Tripping breakers
- Blown fuses
- Burning smells from appliances
- Discoloured wall outlets
- Sparking outlets
- Hot outlets
If you’re living in an old building or you’ve purchased an old home to renovate, you may deal with this regularly, especially, in your kitchen or washroom. This is something you shouldn’t ignore – rewiring your home could save you a potential emergency later in the future.
The potential for an electrical fire gets bigger the longer you wait to fix these little annoyances. Electrical currents create waste heat – which causes conductors to expand and contract. Once the connection is loosened, the electricity can arc and cause an electrical fire.
Having an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is one way to prevent electrical fires. What is it? It’s a circuit breaker that can detect dangerous electrical arcs. If one is detected, it disconnects the power before it can turn into a fire.
Here are a couple of things to know about AFCI use in Canada:
- AFCI Circuit breaker and OBC AFCI Receptacles, AFCI circuit breakers and AFCI receptacles can be used under various conditions per the 2015 CE Code.
- The AFCI must be placed at the first outlet. Care must be taken to ensure that the location is easily accessible and not blocked by furniture or appliances if the device needs to be reset.
- The use of AFCI receptacles may require a contractor to change their wiring practices specifically for circuits that require AFCI protection.
- Location inspection departments have the ultimate jurisdiction in the application and use of electrical equipment per the prevailing Electrical code
If you are seeing the signs that your home may be at risk of an electrical fire, do not wait to fix these issues. We take emergency phone calls 24/7 as well. Contact us immediately and we will work with you to remedy the situation to ensure that your home is protected from electrical fires in the future.