Each year fires cause millions of dollars worth of damage to homes in Miami. But not all house fires are the same. Electrical fires are not only some of the most destructive, they are also the most difficult to put out. A high percentage of these fires happen in the winter time when the weather starts to get cooler. Although Miami is not known for its cold winters. There are times when homeowners will use their heating systems during those occasional cold fronts. When a heating system or appliance has not been used for a significant amount of time, it can raise the risk of an electrical fire. Faulty wiring along with overloaded electrical outlets and extension cords can also present potential dangers. Here are the most common electrical fires found in Miami.
Outdated Appliances & Faulty Outlets
We all depend on electricity for even the most simple tasks, whether it is turning on a house light or cooking our meals. Unfortunately, many homeowners often overlook or ignore the dangers of their outlets. This is a common problem in many older homes. If you have an appliance that is more than ten years old, you may want to think about replacing it. Older appliances typically have frayed or worn out cords. When exposed to floors, carpeting or moisture, they can quickly become a hazard. Try to avoid placing any running cords underneath carpeting.
The most common electrical appliances we use daily are lighting fixtures. Unfortunately, they are also among the most common causes of electrical fires. First, it is important to make sure you are using the correct light bulb. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is using a bulb with wattage that exceeds the amount of the lamp or lighting fixture. Certain types of light bulbs tend to give off a greater amount of heat. Halogen bulbs are among the most dangerous. Never place a cloth or paper on top of a lampshade. It can cause the bulb to overheat and eventually ignite into flames.
Extension cords seem simple to use. All you have to do is plug them into an electrical outlet. Unfortunately, not everybody uses them properly. When using an appliance, make sure to plug them directly into an outlet. Do not plug the appliance into an extension cord for a prolonged period of time. Only use them on a temporary basis. If your home does not have the appropriate outlet for an appliance, contact an electrician to have a new one installed.
Although they are not commonly used in Miami, space heaters have been known to cause many electrical fires in South Florida. Because they are portable, space heaters can be placed at any location. However, far too many people make bad decisions on where to place them. Do not keep them near curtains, clothing or on carpeting. Coil space heaters can be particularly dangerous. Once a coil overheats, it can quickly ignite any flammable surface. Radiator-type space heaters tend to be the safest. While they can effectively spread diffuse heat over a large amount of surface area, make sure to keep them away from any flammable items.
If your home is more than 20 years old, chances are it is at a much higher risk for an electrical fire. Today’s homes have a much higher electrical capacity. They are more able to handle the constant use of bigger TVs, computers, air conditioners, microwave ovens and video game systems. If your home’s circuit system becomes overloaded, it is important to trigger your breakers. Older fuse boxes tend to have worn out connectors that do not function properly. It can cause your home’s electrical system overload.
Do You Need to File a Fire Damage Insurance Claim?
The destruction from fire damage can be devastating. In addition to losing your home and valuable possessions, it can also leave deep financial and emotional scars. We all depend on our insurance companies to provide the right amount of compensation to repair damages and replace lost items. But not all insurance companies operate on good faith. Miami Insurance claims lawyer Jonathan Korin is committed to protecting the rights of his clients. He utilizes an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help resolve Miami fire damage disputes with insurance companies and help clients recover the maximum settlement. To learn more, contact his office today and schedule a consultation.