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What Causes Electrical Equipment To Overheat?

“In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition,” according to the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA). Electrical overheating is one of the most common causes of electrical fires and by knowing what causes electrical equipment to overheat, you can hopefully prevent a tragedy from happening.

Main Causes Of Electrical Overheating

There are three main causes of electrical overheating: excessive current, poor connections and insulation breakdown. Of the three, excessive current is the least likely because circuit breakers and fuses typically protect against this. Poor connections generate a high wattage over a small area for a long period of time and as a result, can cause electrical fires. The breakdown of insulation is another common cause because as it is defeated, sparks may be ejected.

What To Look For

Frayed cords, discolored outlets and broken or cracked plugs are key indicators that something is wrong. In order to prevent electrical equipment or devices from overheating, these warning signs should be addressed immediately.

Possible Solutions

If you’re wondering what can be done to improve electrical safety, we’ve provided some suggestions:

  • Have GFCI outlets installed indoors wherever there is a potential water hazard, including the kitchen and the bathroom.
  • Dedicate separate circuits and outlets for large appliances such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer.
  • Dispose of damaged or frayed electrical cords.

It’s important to have a licensed electrician perform an electrical safety inspection to make sure your home is safe. Give Lon Lockwood Electric a call today at (585) 766-4702 to schedule an appointment.