The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that there are 50,000 electrical fires in the USA every year. Electrical fires are quite dangerous as they remain hidden within walls, and are not discovered until they have already caused considerable loss to property.
You, as a homeowner, need to be very careful. The only way to prevent such electrical fires is to take proper care of your wiring systems and ensure timely maintenance whenever necessary. Majority of the electrical fires are preventable, but you have to be prompt and call an electrician as soon as you spot any problem with your wiring system.
Here are some signs that you should watch out for:
The job of circuit breakers is to protect your wiring system by cutting off the electricity at the first sign of danger. They do this, measure the amps travelling through the wiring system and if there is any irregularity and/or they trip, cut off the electricity immediately. If this happens once or twice, there is nothing to worry about as there is always a possibility of a power surge. However, if this becomes a little too frequent, then there is a serious problem with your wiring system.
However, frequent tripping does not only mean a problem with the wiring. There could be a problem with the circuit breaker itself. Your circuit breaker could be faulty or it could be at the end of its useful life, on which case you will need to have it replaced.
If one or more of your light bulbs start to flicker then it is a definitive sign of a fault in your wiring system. The reason could be that the lights are overloading your circuit and your wiring isn’t handling the load well.
This usually happens when you install lights that require a little more energy than your wiring system is rated for, in which case you will either need to have your wiring system upgraded or remove the lights that are causing the problem.
If there is a foul odor coming from your wiring system, then it is a possible sign that your wiring system is frying. There are high chances of a hidden electrical fire somewhere in the wiring too.
In this case, you must act at once and call the electrician. Immediate action may prevent you from bearing hundreds of dollars of loss.
Shocks in Outlets
If there are any outlets in your home that give out shocks when you plug them in, then it probably means that your wires are shorting. You will need to call a professional to get the outlet inspected and fixed.
Remember that not using that outlet is not a solution. If you let the problem sit, it will aggravate into a bigger problem.
Charred switches are another indication that your electrical wire is facing a problem.
In this case, you will not only need a repair in your wiring system, but also need to get the outlet replaced. Once the outlet is charred, it is better to replace it altogether even if it is working fine.