Terms of the Trade: What Is Overlamping?

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It can be tempting to replace a burnt-out lightbulb with a different wattage if that's all you have in the house, but the effects can be deadly. Many house fires are caused from overlamping, which is the act of using a bulb with a higher wattage than what's listed for the lamp. The socket of a lamp that should only be used with a 60-watt bulb can overheat if used with a 100-watt bulb, melting wires and potentially starting a fire in your home. To prevent overlamping, pay attention to the labels on your lighting fixtures and make sure you always have backup bulbs of the correct wattage.