08:00 AM

Home electrical fires on the rise

Nationwide partnering with Hartford Steam Boiler to alert homeowners of potential electrical fire hazards

A note to homeowners: That extra time you’ve been spending at home? It could be straining your home’s electrical system and increasing the chances of an electrical fire.   

2022 Nationwide claims data shows a significant increase in the number of home electrical fires as well as the average cost to repair homes that are damaged by them.  

“People have been spending a lot more time in their homes lately, either because they work from home or they’re learning remotely. This can put additional stress on your home’s plumbing, electrical systems and appliances,” said Sarah Jacobs, VP of personal lines product development. “Homeowners should consider using technology to monitor their electrical system and identify potential problems before they turn into a bigger issue.”  

Nationwide is partnering with Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) to distribute an electrical home monitoring system from Ting. The devices monitor your home’s electrical network for issues that could lead to an electrical fire. The Ting sensors and service are part of a limited program for current policyholders in South Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri at no additional charge.  The program is set to expand to additional states in the coming months.

“Hidden electrical faults are a common cause of house fires,” said Jeff O’Shaughnessy Senior Vice President of HSB. “These hazards often happen without any warning in homes of any age. Without proper monitoring and detection, your family and home could be at risk. The Ting device by Whisker Labs will monitor your home’s entire electrical system and couldn’t be easier to use while providing some major safety features.” 

Homeowners plug the Ting device into any outlet, where it monitors the home’s electrical network for potential fire hazards, such as microarcs, and sparks that develop in faulty wires, loose connections, and faulty appliances or devices. Since it takes weeks and months for these issues to develop, Ting provides homeowners advanced warning to address these concerns before they could start a fire. The Ting program covers up to $1,000 in labor if a licensed electrician is needed to mitigate a Ting-identified hazard. 

Other tips for preventing home electrical fires: 

  • Inspect: Half of homes built before 1973 don’t have an updated electrical system. If you live in a home that’s more than 40 years old, consider having a licensed electrician inspect the home and suggest improvements that will prevent an electrical fire from happening.  
  • Upgrade: Appliance cords and internal wiring can deteriorate from years of wear and tear, which could lead to a fire. Consider upgrading older appliances to prevent this from happening. 

For more information about other ways homeowners can protect their homes, contact your local independent insurance agent or visit  www.nationwide.com.