Home fires are much more common than many homeowners think. What's even more alarming is the fact that tens of thousands of those residential fires are caused by the home's electricity. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association in the United States says that between 45,000 and 50,000 fires in the home since 2000 have been caused by defective electrical wiring. Those electrical fire hazards have taken the lives of hundreds of people each year and cost over $1 billion in property damage.

Electrical wiring in your home is not something to mess with. If it's faulty, then it needs to be replaced immediately. It isn't something that you can place on the back burner and hope that it doesn't get worsen – because it will. There are a number of things that you can do to help prevent an unnecessary electrical fire from igniting at your home. Here are three:

1. Schedule a Home Electrical Inspection.

Your home's electrical wiring is not designed to last forever. In fact, the average lifespan of any electrical system is around 35 years. The older your home is, the more likely it is that you need to have your home's electrical system rewired as soon as possible. This is particularly true if your home is currently equipped with aluminum wiring, which was used in homes that were built around the 1960s and 1970s. Aluminum wiring is more fire-prone than today's copper wiring.

The best thing you can do to see if your electrical wiring is currently up-to-date and up-to-code is to hire a licensed electrician. He or she can inspect your electrical system and provide the necessary recommendations as well as repairs.

2. Avoid Overloading Your Plugs.

If you need to plug in a number of devices into one outlet, then you should use a power strip rather than a three-way adapter or an extension cord. In fact, you should purchase a power strip that had internal overload protection, which will automatically shut off the power strip in the event that it is ever overloaded.

3. Examine All Electrical Equipment and Appliances for Damaged Wiring.

Faulty wiring is a very common cause of home electrical fires. You need to inspect all electrical items in your home for worn out, tattered or frayed wiring. If you find a device that has faulty wiring, then it's time to replace the wiring. If it is so far gone that it cannot be repaired, then it's in your best interest to buy a replacement cord or a complete new device. Otherwise, these damaged cords can overheat and ignite a dangerous fire.

Contact Harrison Electric today to schedule an electrical repair or an inspection of your residential electrical system so that you can hopefully avoid an unnecessary home fire.