3 Common Causes of House Fires

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Using heater at home in winter. Woman warming her hands sitting by device and wearing warm clothes. Heating season.

3 Tips to look for a potential fire hazard in your home.

Today many lives are lost and countless millions spent, because people are unaware of what to look for in their electrical system to determine what a potential hazard might be. In this short report three of the most common issues that cause electrical fires in the world today will be covered.

1) knob and tube wiring.

Now knob & tube wiring is some of the oldest wiring in buildings today. Many thousands of older homes still have the original wiring installed spidering through the walls. Because knob & Tube wiring is the oldest it has been given a bad name. Obviously,it’s had the most time to have problems with it, most of the time these problems are from human hands not the actual wire itself.

When the system was designed and installed no one could have possible realized how many different modern electrical appliances could have been thought up. Because of modern technology, we find that older homes just simply do not have enough plugs in each room. People who do not understand how electrical works or how to work with knob and tube wiring will splice into these wires and add more receptacles. This is against the NEC (national electric code). The reason for this is because the system was designed for certain load. The more plugs that are added to that circuit the more possibilities there are to increase the load on that circuit. Your home may have a circuit that has been designed to only have a few amps on it, the more places you have to add more things onto the circuit (plugs) the better chance you have of overloading that circuit.

2) bad splices.

Bad splices are probably one of the most common reasons electrical fires happen. With a bad splice the wires will slight slightly separate. When they separate they created a arching and sparking effect which then in turn creates heat. If there’s enough draw and enough of an arc that happens on this wire. There is a real potential for fire to start. This is why it’s absolutely critical that you hire a contractor who understands electrical system and understands how to properly make splices in any type of wire.

3) Federal Pacific panels.

It is well documented that Federal Pacific panels are a potential fire hazard. This is because the connection points for the breakers were they tie onto the bussbar have a tendency to become loose. Again, just as a loose splice will create arching and sparking this to is will create heat. Should enough heat be created from the arching and sparking a fire is a possibility.

Another well documented fault of a federal Pacific breaker is the fact that they’re notorious for not tripping when they’re supposed to. Generally speaking, if a circuit is drawing more than its rated for the breaker should trip. And turn the power off to that circuit. However Pacific panel breakers that unfortunately does not always happen. It’s very possible to overload a circuit that protected by a federal Pacific breaker and cause damage to the wire or other components. This can mean melting of the wire, fires, or even melting of the breaker itself.

The purpose of this article was not to scare anyone but to draw attention to very common problem. It’s very difficult to determine who is a legitimate electrician, and who may just be a Saturday afternoon worker. The juju list helps home owners get matched to contractors that can service their particular needs.

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Matthew Shields

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