West Penn Wire Blog

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

Posted by Samantha Bante on Jul 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

As a business or residential owner the last thing that you need is an electrical fire. Yet, these are common in older buildings and can be severely dangerous. With fall and winter months just around the corner, we are at great risk of electrical fires from increased usage of lights and heaters. To make sure you are prepared, view the top causes of electrical fires below:




One of the very common causes of fires is light fixtures and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture so that they never exceed this amount. Especially older light fixtures with defective wiring.

Old/Bad Wiring

Older wiring systems in any home or business may not be able to handle the wiring capacity of increased power. Don't use a wire with worn or frayed electrical cords, and worn out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. Breakers will kick when circuits are overloaded but if a breaker box is outdated, it could be very hazardous if the connectors are worn.

Extension Cords

Using multiple appliances at one time plugged into an extension cord is a major threat. The excessive power on the extension creates an overbearing power load for the single socket. These are usually only meant for a temporary fix and there are much safer alternatives to keep in mind. Having an electrician install the necessary electrical sockets and wires can alleviate this risk.

Faulty Outlets or Appliances

Fires can occur if older appliances have been used for a long time. Refrain from using appliances with old cords which can easily cause electrical fires. Also, if a problem occurs with any socket, also speak with or hire an electrician to make proper updates to avoid any fire hazards from a faulty connection. 

Space Heaters


Space heaters can be common in a work or home environment during the winter months. Often times people will keep them close too close to combustible material such as curtains or bedding. Ensure that materials are positioned away from any type of flammable materials. Any coiled heater is more dangerous and if a portable heater is needed be sure to use a radiator-type heater instead to avoid any greater risk. 

Have questions about fire alarm cabling? View our resource center or fire alarm product video


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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, fire alarm cables, fire alarm

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