Loose Electrical Outlets, Receptacles, And Switches Cause a House Fire

An outlet is lights, switches, smoke detectors, and receptacles. However, many recognize the term outlet as a place to plug in a lamp or another electrical device. According to the US Fire Administration over 24,000 house fires occur each year.

What is an electrical outlet?

An outlet is an opening that allows the extension of an electrical circuit. Every time a device is plugged into an outlet, whether temporary or long term the circuit is extended.

A light switch is a gate.

Light switches are a gateway for electrical current.  A gate typically prevents passage, like a yard gate keeps pets in, or a filed gate retains cattle. Oddly enough, a closed gate allows the passage of electrical current, while an open gate prevents the passage of electrical current.

Normal Use of Outlets, Receptacles, and Light Switches

The normal use of outlets and switches (overtime) will cause the mounting hardware to become loose. This continuous movement wreaks havoc on the electrical connections. The electrical wire (branch circuit) is made of solid copper and the constant movement will break down the wire and eventually lead to a broken electrical wire. Additionally, this movement works on the connections causing them to become loose as well.
These loose connections lead to heat, which can lead to an electrical spark, spontaneous combustion, and a fire.

Don’t let this happen to your home!

The repair is simple, remove the cover and tighten the mounting screws for the outlet or light switch. Make this a semi-annual task as part of your home maintenance routine.
Do it now! It only takes 10 minutes to check the outlets and switches in your home, tightening as you go may lead to an hour, but I know your family and property are worth that hour.

Aztec Home Inspections provides inspections to customers in Waynesboro, Charlottesville, and Harrisonburg, VA. Contact us to schedule our services.