When people think of electrical fires, they mostly think of exposed wires, damaged outlets, and malfunctioning circuits. However, you should know that even your electrical appliances can cause a fire. Here are five ways to prevent this from happening:

Unplug Appliances Not In Use

It's difficult for an electrical appliance to cause a fire if it's not plugged in. Therefore, unplug your appliances immediately when you are through using them. This is helpful for all appliances, but it is necessary for those that get extremely hot when being used. A good example is a hair drier, which can get hot and cause a fire when left plugged for a long time.

Don't Crowd Appliances

Most electrical appliances, even those not designed to produce heat, get heated during use. This is why they are equipped with fans, heat sinks, and air vents to channel the heat away. Without such cooling mechanisms, the appliances would get damaged by heat or even cause a fire. However, such cooling mechanisms only work efficiently in conjunction with the free flow of air.  Crowding the appliances together defeats this purpose since it inhibits air flow and may even close the air vents.

Stop Using Old Appliances

Electrical appliances age with time, and when they do, they become fire hazards. For example, as an appliance ages, the material insulating its internal wiring may break down and result in short-circuit. This is another reason you should be wary of secondhand electrical appliances, such as those sold in flea markets. Stay away from such appliances unless you know their history well, and can confirm their safety status.

Place Appliances Away From Water

Using electrical appliances close to water can also cause a fire. This is because water conducts electricity, and it can connect parts of the circuit that should not be connected. Therefore, don't use your radio, hairdryer or space heater near a water fountain, shower or anywhere where water can spill on them.

Maintain Your Appliances

Even relatively new appliances can cause a fire if they aren't properly maintained. Wire connections can loosen, screw contacts can unscrew, insulation can get chewed by rodents, and fans can get clogged with dirt. All these problems have the potential for causing electrical fires. Therefore, you need to service and maintain your electrical appliances as directed by their respective manufacturers.

Whenever you suspect that an electrical appliance is a fire hazard, stop using it until it gets serviced by an electrician. For example, if your fridge's electrical cord is frayed or it feels overheated, unplug it and contact an electrical contract to service it. To learn more, contact a company like Allied Electric Inc