Electrical fires are a common home safety hazard that can occur for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from shoddy or old wiring to actual damage to or improper use of your electrical outlets. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of an electrical fire occurring in your home.
The most obvious and easiest thing that you should do to keep the risk of an electrical fire low in your home is to replace any damaged outlets in your home. You can buy replacement faceplates and outlets at most hardware stores and screw them in place with a crosshead screwdriver. For best results and to keep yourself safe, it's always recommended to contact a professional for electrical repair.
Maintain Cords and Plugs
In a similar vein to the previous point, you should also replace any damaged cords or plugs, or simply replace the entire appliance, if possible. It's a good idea to tuck your wires and plugs in out of the way areas, where they are less likely to experience any sort of wear and tear which can contribute to them becoming physically damaged. You should also inspect your cords if you've experienced a rodent problem in your house previously; mice and rats both love to chew on cords, which can increase the risk of a fire occurring.
Spread the Load Out
Another fairly easy thing that you can do to ensure that your home's electrical system is not at risk of bursting into flames is to spread your major power using appliances across multiple outlets. Avoid plugging too many things into the same outlet, and never use multiple power bars in a single plug, as this can cause too much stress on your wiring and greatly increases the risk of sparking or heat igniting something nearby.
Watch for Warning Signs
Electrical fires will rarely ignite without any warning. There are a number of warning signs that you can keep an eye out for to determine when you should call an electrician to take a look at your wiring to see if you need to have it replaced. Watch for blackened or burned sections of wall, carpet, or any other material around your outlets and plugs, which will usually also come with the smell of burning. In addition, outlets and light switches can also feel warm if there is an issue with the wiring behind them. Lights that are constantly flickering and dimming can also point to wiring that needs to be replaced.