What Are The Signs Of An Electrical Fire?

What Are The Signs Of An Electrical Fire?

In urban cities around the world, it has been estimated that about 51,000 electrical fires break out each year. This has led to thousands of injuries as well as nearly $1.3 billion in property damage. Unfortunately, due to the explosive nature of electrical fires, by the time it erupts, it is likely too late to do anything other than to evacuate.

As such, in this situation, prevention is certainly better than cure. By recognizing the leading causes and early signs of an electrical fire, you might be able to save both your home and your loved ones. In this article, we will dive into the warning signs as well as how you can prevent electrical fires from breaking out.

Signs that your home is at risk of an Electrical Fire

For starters, it is important that you recognize the symptoms and signs of an impending electrical fire in your home. Here are the signs that should be looked out for.

Smoke in your home

smoking electrical light switch

If your smoke detector is set off, or you smell smoke, you should immediately begin investigating. Other than expected sources of smoke such as from overcooked food, if nothing else stands out, then your home may have an electrical fire. We recommend immediately shutting off the power to the electrical system where the smoke is coming from.

Once electricity flow to the section has been shut down, you should get help from an emergency electrician in Singapore. Instead of fiddling with the devices or power sockets in the section, a professional electrician should be engaged to diagnose the root cause of the incident. This is important as deeper issues may exist that might cause a full fledge electrical fire if electricity is delivered again without remedy.

Should you have spotted any small flames from your electrical points, do not ever attempt to put them out with water. Water would expose you to the risk of electrocution and actually contributes nothing towards smothering the fire. Rather, it could well turn into a conductor, thus increasing electrical current flow and worsening the situation.

Repeated Circuit Break Tripping

Your home circuit breaker protects your home from short circuits and circuit overloading, hence it also prevents electrical fires. It works by disconnecting your home’s electrical circuit when the flow of current exceeds the limits. As such, the act of a circuit breaker tripping is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather, it has just helped to prevent a possible electrical hazard in your home.

Excess current in your circuit occurs due to variety of reasons, some of which are natural and unavoidable. For example, if there is a storm in your area, chances are that the power grid will become supercharged. In turn, large amounts of electricity are delivered to your home’s circuit, raising it above the limits. It is here when the circuit breaker acts to protect your home.

However, repeated circuit breaker trips without a clear cause is indicative of issues within your circuit. This would include excessive power demand, contact between a live wire and the neutral wire as well as ground faults. In any of these cases, emergency electrician Singapore services should be engaged to help rectify your circuit.

Charred Power Outlets & Switches

overloaded power plug with burned marks and discoloration

Charred switches and power outlets are visible in two forms. Firstly, they could show clear burn marks which is indicative of high amounts of heat burning the material. Secondly, a discoloration, often towards a dirty yellowish colour, is observed. In either case, it is likely that some of the sort of small electrical sparks have been impacting the switch or outlet.

Should you spot such symptoms, you should first turn them off. Following which, you may put on an insulating glove and touch the plates covering them. If the plate is excessively hot when touched, it is likely that the internal wires and connectors have been overheated as well. At this point, it would only be a matter of time till an electrical fire breaks out from the outlet.

Dimming Lights

Do you find that your home’s lights are constantly flickering for no apparent reason? If so it could mean one of two things. Firstly, you might have a faulty lightbulb, which might turn into a blown lightbulb. In which case, an easy replacement can be done by purchasing an equivalent from a hardware store.

Alternatively, dimming lights can also be caused by overloaded circuits or faulty wiring. In this case, uneven flow of electrical current in your circuit affects the consistency of the output of the lightbulb, resulting in the flickering effect. A deeper investigation into your circuit will thus be required in order to determine the exact root cause behind the changes in current in the circuit.

Prevention Tips

Now that we have covered the signs of an incoming electrical fire, we can now explore simple prevention tips.

Replacing Old Damaged Wiring

replacing old wiring to prevent an electrical fire

We recommend having your wiring checked every 4 to 5 years. During this cycle, your wiring may have been damaged due to:

  • Pest inflicting physical harm
  • Wear and tear in the insulation due to excess heat production
  • Frayed connections

Avoid Using Many Multi-Plugs & Extension Cords

Multi-plugs and extension cords allow you to charge more devices than your home could originally accommodate. However, this also means that there is a risk that the total required power output at any one time exceeds what your circuit wiring can handle. As such, if you intend to charge many demanding electrical devices over a long time, we recommend to instead have a professional electrical company redo the wiring in your home.

Beware of Wet Areas

Wet areas such as bathrooms are prime areas for electrical faults due to the presence of wires. To prevent such, anti-splash boxes can be placed around your power sockets while all electrical devices should be kept as far as possible from the wet areas.

Ensuring the Functionality of your Circuit Breaker

As covered earlier, a circuit breaker is a critical line of defense against potential electrical fires. As such, we recommend getting an electrician to check the condition of your breaker from time to time in order to ensure its functionality.

Engage Our Yi Ling Service Team To Assist You

With over 30 years of experience, Yi Leng Service is a specialist in electrical works, cable solutions, TV brackets, and mounting. Our experience has proven to be an invaluable asset in our expertise and services provided to clients in all aspects of installation, maintenance, and repair works.

At Yi Leng Service, all our services are carried out by licensed & skilled electricians that will do a reliable job that comes with warranty. Feel free to contact us for reliable electrician services.

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