Can a Power Surge Cause a Fire? Ask Our Electricians

Can a Power Surge Cause a Fire? Ask Our Electricians

Power Surges & the Chances of a Fire

Power surges occur for three primary reasons, the first one being when the power company is switching power grids. Another cause of power surges are lightning strikes, which are typically the most powerful, and therefore may do the most damage. Finally, the third reason for an in-home power surge is due to large appliances like the refrigerator or air conditioner switching on and off. Power surges are also known as transient voltage because it’s the sudden occurrence of over-voltage being present in your electrical system. 

Your home’s wall outlets typically supply 120 volts of electricity, but the actual voltage goes up and down. The amount of voltage traveling through your home’s wiring usually varies from 0 – 169 volts. Most home appliances are able to handle normal fluctuations in the electrical current. Problems occur when the surge is over 169 volts. These spikes can cause damage to your property and sometimes are even dangerous. But even small power surges can damage some appliances, so being proactive is best. 

One common question Armstrong’s electricians in Lubbock, Texas get asked is whether or not power surges can cause a fire. The short answer is maybe. If the conditions are right, a fire can result from a power surge. If too much electricity flows into an appliance all at once, the appliance could overheat, causing the components to burn. Obviously, a burning item inside a home will likely spread to whatever is near. If the situation remains unknown, serious losses can occur. 

What Can You Do to Be Proactive Against Power Surges?

There are steps you can take to help avoid damage to appliances or even losses in your home due to an electrical fire caused by a power surge. 

  1. Check your wiring to ensure it’s in the best condition possible. One of Armstrong’s skilled electricians can inspect your home to ensure your electrical system is up to date.
  2. Don’t overload outlets by using multi-plugs that allow too many appliances to always be “on” at once.
  3. Make use of individual surge protectors for your electronics and small appliances.
  4. For top-of-the-line protection, Better Call Armstrong to have one of our trained electricians install a whole-house surge protector for the best overall protection against power surges.

Don’t worry about things you can’t control like when the power company will cause the power to surge or when a lightning storm might knock out the power or cause too much electricity in your home’s wiring. Be proactive and call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric today. Our electricians are ready to help you protect your home.