Poor Cable Management Can Be a Fire Hazard

Does your home or office have wires and cables spread out all across the floor or bundled in barely-accessible areas in the corner? If you’re like many people, the answer is probably yes. Not only are these cables a tripping hazard, but they can also lead to an electrical fire.

All it takes is a spark from one mismanaged cable to start a devastating fire in your home or office, which is why cable management fire hazards should always be on your mind. This is especially important with the holidays coming up as you start hanging lights and decorating.

Continue reading to learn how you can protect yourself, your family and your employees from a dangerous electrical fire.

How to prevent an electrical fire

Thankfully, preventing an electrical fire is fairly easily if you’re vigilant. Keep these things in mind around the house or in your office space:

  • Use extension cords sparingly: Extension cords aren’t meant to be used all day, every day. They’re designed to be used temporarily to plug in a device with a short cord that’s just a little too far from an outlet. If you need to keep an appliance plugged into a certain location, talk to an electrician about installing another outlet in the wall. While this can be a DIY task, it’s best to hire a pro.
  • Look for wire damage: Cracked, frayed or otherwise damaged cords and cables should be disposed of immediately. In addition to paying attention to how cords are laid out in a room, looking for signs of damage is a key component of proper cable management. Remember, the cost of replacing a damaged cord is far less expensive than a fire.
  • Unplug heat-producing appliances: Toasters, kettles, curling irons and any other heat-producing devices should stay unplugged when you’re not using them. Accidentally leaving these appliances on for an extended period can generate enough heat to start a fire. Plus, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use will reduce your electric bill.
  • Update your electrical system: Knob-and-tube wiring, aluminum wiring and 60-amp electrical systems are all common in older homes—and unfortunately, they all pose a greater risk of overheating and starting an electrical fire. Update your home’s electrical system with modern wiring materials and at least 100 amps. This will reduce your chance of a fire hazard while also lowering your insurance rates.

Managing an electric fire

A fire can still break out at any moment, even if you follow all of our advice regarding cable management fire hazards. Your best defense against an electrical fire is a Class C fire extinguisher. These are designed specifically to put out fires caused by electrical equipment. You can also purchase an ABC fire extinguisher, which also manages fires caused by combustible materials and flammable liquids.

As the holiday season draws near and you start bringing out your holiday lights, now’s the time to assess your current electrical fire risks. Call Raider Fire Protection today to purchase new fire extinguishers or to learn more about how to prevent an electrical fire.