Homeowners have to worry about a lot of things when they own a home—everything from termites to wind damage. However, the one thing that homeowners worry about more than nearly anything else is fire. Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of residential fires. In order to work to prevent a fire in your home, you’ll want to know how electrical fires start, so find below some information about electrical fires.

How Is an Electrical Fire Different from Other Fires?

Electrical fires usually begin in cords, outlets, wires, or circuit breakers—all components of electricity. One of the hardest aspects of an electrical fire is that the fire may not be in plain sight. Instead, an electrical fire may happen in the walls of your home, out of sight. Because electrical fires start with an electrical short, fire agencies call them electrical fires. Usually, electrical fires begin because there is a spark or a short in your electrical system, and the spark happens in or near combustible material.

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

Electrical fires can have several causes. Old wiring in a home is often the cause of electrical fires. If you have an old home without a lot of outlets, you may use extension cords, which can be dangerous and cause electrical fires. Space heaters used in the winter can cause electrical fires as well. If you have lamps or other light fixtures, they can cause electrical fires.

Do Electrical Fires Happen Quickly?

Electrical fires can happen quickly or slowly—it all depends on whether there is combustible material present and how big the initial spark is. For example, if you have an extension cord that shorts out and sparks on the floor by your floor pillows or couch, a fire can happen very quickly. However, if you have a spark in a wire in the walls of your home, and there is no fuel present, the fire may smolder for a few hours or even days, depending on the size of the spark.

How Can You Prevent an Electrical Fire?

If you’re worried about electrical fires, there are some things you can do to prevent them. First, if you own an older home, contact an electrician to have your wiring checked and replaced if necessary. Second, be sure that you are not using extension cords and that any cords you do have on lights, lamps, or appliances are whole, without wires showing. Third, be sure you have working smoke detectors in or near every bedroom of your home. That way, if a fire does break out, you’ll have a warning as soon as possible.

What to Do After a Fire

If an electrical fire does break out in your home, and the firefighters extinguish the blaze, you’ll want to begin to repair your home right away. You need the help of an expert renovation team. Top to Bottom Renovations has been helping its neighbors clean up and restore their homes for years. If you’ve had a fire, you need to give us a call today to help you with smoke damage removal.

Find out more about dangers of water damage in your home.