By Mr. Electric on 17/01/2017

Most home fires start from the smallest of accidental causes, many of them in the “should’ve known better” genre. Prevented with the simplest of steps, this year, put breaking these bad electrical habits at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list….

This New Year, don’t just drop pounds – drop these bad electrical habits.
Learning these electrical fires causes and prevention will ensure a Happy New Year.

Wire “wrapping”

Coiled extension leads create a fire hazard (even on extension reels) because flowing current generates heat, and if not properly dispersed due coiling, fires can occur – particularly when the wire is used near maximum rating. Coiling or wrapping is not just bad for extension leads either: Wires also suffer damage as metal components inside are bent back and forth, becoming eventually weaker, such as those on your hair dryer and curling iron.

The den of snakes

Can you plug an extension lead into another extension lead? Not a good idea. Plugging an extension lead into an extension lead, or “daisy chaining an extension lead” – or four - may seem convenient, but it is a HUGE fire hazard. It is extremely easy to exceed the power capacity of a single extension lead when you daisy chain. Don’t do it. If you need additional sockets, add them. They cost far less than a home fire – or the price of a single lost appliance.

Yanking the plug

Pulling the plug out of the wall by the wire could result in a spark that causes a fire – and will definitely reduce the lifespan of the appliance and outlet.

Ignoring dust bunnies

Piles of dust, easily accumulating around appliances and wires (and in your dryer’s lint trap), can quickly ignite.


Plugging a 100-watt bulb into a 60-watt max bulb socket can easily result in an electric fire. Read outlet limits – we promise – they’re on there. And while you’re at it, trash that ancient incandescent for a less wattage-heavy CFL or LED.

Overusing electric blankets

Cranking up the heat, constant operation, and the piling of layers atop electric blankets can lead to fires. Enjoy your blanket – but at night, on the lowest setting, and without the blanket brigade.

Laptop laziness

Using/storing your laptop on flammable surfaces like beds and rugs restricts cooling vents, causing overheating, computer damage, and eventually fires.

Man on the run

Leaving the house with an appliance running (dryer, dishwasher, etc.) or food cooking on/in the hob/oven is a huge no-no. The slow cooker is the only exception.

Appliance overpopulation

Overcrowding appliances together does not give them they space they need for heat to dissipate. In addition, only one appliance should be plugged in per outlet to reduce risks of wiring overload.

Ignoring appliance recalls

Returning/replacing that faulty appliance seems like too much work? Ignore the danger and you could end up a statistic: Over 150,000 fires in the last 10 years alone have been a result of defective appliances.

New Year's resolutions lighting a fire under you? Make a change with the help of Mr. Electric today.


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