Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Top reasons that electrical fires start

Electrical fires are a big issue in the United States, as estimates indicate that there are about 28,600 of these fires every year. The U.S. Fire Administration, which came up with this stat, also estimates that these fires lead to about $1.1 billion in costs, and that's just when looking at property damage. They also take 310 lives every year, and they cause 1,100 injuries. Below are a few of the main reasons that they start.

1. Using the wrong light bulbs. If the wattage on the bulb doesn't match the output, a fire can start.

2. Faulty appliances. People sometimes like to use appliances until they won't work at all, but outdated stoves, coffee makers and toasters can all be fire hazards.

3. Frayed cords. Often, people don't want to replace a lamp or another device just because the cord is frayed, as long as the device works. However, the fraying can cause sparks and fires.

3. Poor wiring. This is often an issue when a property owner tries to do the electrical work on his or her own. However, even contractors can make mistakes that could lead to fires.

4. Sustained use of an extension cord. A cord can be safe when used for a short time, but it should not be a permanent solution.

5. Space heaters. Electric space heaters may be rated for indoor use, but they can be hazardous if they're used all the time, especially if they are old and outdated.

If you've been injured in a fire in Pennsylvania, be sure that you know if you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and medical costs.

Source: Fire Recruit, "5 common causes of electrical fires," accessed March 09, 2016

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