BOCA RATON (CBS12) — Electrical fires can be caused by a number of things including installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high, or using faulty electrical outlets.
"Many times multiple outlet devices are chained together, more devices they're originally designed to handle," fire inspector Bob Lemons said.
Overloading an outlet with too many plugs can cause an electrical fire.
"Causing them to overheat connections can go bad if you had the wrong type of device plugged into the outlet," Lemons said.
Other causes of electrical fires include damaged appliance cords, or a circuit breaker needing to be reset, if not addressed.
The homeowners, where two pets died in a house fire in Boca told inspectors they had been having electrical problems.
Investigators found damaged wiring in the garage
Electrical malfunctions account for 6.3 percent of residential fires, according to the U.S Fire Administration.
Homeowners should be on the look out for Breakers tripping , or a fuse blowing frequently, both signs of an electrical problem.
"Things like lights dimming or being overly bright in areas, these are indications, there may be something wrong in the system," Lemons said
Also if a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home.
To help avoid an electrical fire, homeowners should do the following:
Do not plug things into extensions cords;
devices should go directly into outlets.
Avoid putting cords under the rug if they're hot, and replace any frayed cords.