A common cause of house fires is “overlamping“. Overlamping can be a severe household hazard , but thankfully, it’s one that is very easy to spot.

What is Overlamping?

Overlamping is caused by using a light bulb with a wattage that’s higher than the fixture’s recommended amount. When you place a light build with a higher wattage, the socket can then heat and melt the fixture’s wires. This is one of the leading causes of electrical fires in homes.

Insulation on light fixtures is constructed to withstand specific temperatures. This can range from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 194. Each light fixture has a specific wattage to match regulatory standards.

Recommended Wattage

Finding the recommended wattage can be difficult on older fixtures. However, when you purchase a newer one, it should come with a warning or indication of the recommended wattage. To find this, look at the jacket of the wire for ‘NM’ or ‘NMB.’ These letters indicate the wattage. The “B” signifies that the wire is outfitted for up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit. If it just has ‘NM,’ this means it can only go up to 140 degrees. If you’re unable to locate the recommended wattage, stick to installing light bulbs with low wattage. 60-watt bulbs are suggested. It’s always to stay on the safe side.

Overlamping and Electrical Wiring Hazards

The name overlamping doesn’t suggest the incredible danger you place you, your loved ones, and your home in. The electrical wiring can catch fire due to the breakdown of gases and the high heat around the insulation. This is called an arc fault, which is when an electrical current is displaced from its intended route. Even if you avoid a full-on fire, this is an easy way to ruin your light fixtures.

If there are any light fixtures or sockets around your home that appear melted, you should consult a professional before attempting any repairs on your own. Electrical issues, for safety reasons, are to be solved with professional help. At AAA Services, we are dedicated to maintaining and protecting your home from electrical problems. Call or schedule an appointment online today.


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