Common Causes Of Electrical Fires And What You Should Know

The majority of house fires start in the kitchen. These are either a result of a heat-producing appliance that has been left unattended, such as your cooker. Or, they start thanks to a problem with electrical wiring. 

House fires kill at least 50 people a year, the worst part of this is the fact that most fires are preventable. That’s why you should devise a fire escape plan with at least two exit routes from every room in your home.  You should also practice your escape to ensure everyone knows how to get out safely if a fire happens. 

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Bad electrics start fires and fires can kill. In short, get a reputable qualified electrician Sydney to check your wiring as soon as possible. It is the best way of ensuring your home is safe and reducing the risk of a fire occurring. 

You should also be aware of what the most common causes of house electrical fires are:

Short Circuits

Most people assume that bad wiring is when an appliance hasn’t been wired correctly. This is an issue but will usually simply shut the power off. However, wiring that has been damaged, perhaps by rodents, cannot carry the electricity properly. Instead, it can spark from one wire to another. This causes a short circuit which should shut the power off. 

However, the spark can also ignite combustible material near it, starting a fire that will spread very quickly. 


Another common cause of electrical fires is overloading the circuits. In general, a main circuit is designed to handle up to eight appliances at the same time. However, if you use extension cables and splitters, you can plug a significantly larger number of appliances into one socket. The result is excess heat in the wiring which can cause materials in the vicinity to catch fire.

Unattended Appliances

Another major cause of electrical fires is appliances that are left unattended. The worst ones are cookers and fires. A fire can fall over, allowing the combustible material near it to catch alight. Equally, food being prepared on the stove can boil dry and cause a fire. 

The problem with fire is that it spreads surprisingly quickly. In most cases, you only have two minutes to get out of a burning house. That’s not long if it takes you five minutes to discover the house is on fire. 

Flickering Lights & Switches

Flickering lights and switches indicate there is an issue with your electrics. It is likely to be bad wiring, either because it has been damaged by pests or because it is old and the protective sheath has disintegrated. 

The result is a live electric current flicking between two wires, causing the lights to flicker and you to hear a buzzing, or see a spark when you operate the switch. 

It is worth noting that old wiring is more likely to experience issues. You should verify how old the wiring is in your house and have it changed, if necessary.