Electrical fires are incredibly common and can be deadly. There are thousands of electrical fires every year in the United States, most of which could have been prevented. In order to keep you and your family safe from electrical fires or other issues, it’s important to know how to check the electrical system in your home. Here are 5 warning signs to look out for that could be the cause of electrical wiring problems.
Too Many Extension Cords
Using multiple extension cords at once can create electrical issues, as there are additional points where cords can short, get pinched, or kink. Overuse of cords can also lead to tripped breakers and damaged outlets, which can cause an electrical fire. Use extension cords with caution and don’t overdo by overloading the sockets. Instead, buy a powerstrip that is equipped with an internal overload protection feature, which will turn off if the outlet is overburdened.
Old wiring can cause deadly electrical fires, so if you live in an older home, you should inspect the wiring closely. Consider hiring a professional electrician to rewire the home if it is 60 to 100 years old, especially if the wiring is aluminum-based. Copper wiring is safer and less prone to fires, but should still be examined in an older home.
Hot Outlets or Switch Plates
Your outlet should never become hot and if it does, you should get it checked out right away. If it gets hot without anything plugged in, it could be wired incorrectly, and that could cause significant trouble down the road. Contact us immediately if you notice a hot outlet.
Burning Smell or Sparking
This one seems obvious, but if you notice sparking or any burning/odors coming from an appliance, cord, or outlet, there is likely an internal issue. If you experience either, turn off or unplug anything connected to the outlet and call a licensed electrician to look at it. If it’s your breaker panel or fuse box that has a funny smell coming from it, call your electrician right away. These are usually warning signs that something bigger is going on that could be potentially dangerous.
Broken Cords or Plugs
Look around your home for any broken cords or plugs as well as any frayed or tattered cords. These kinds of cords can overheat quickly and catch fire before you know it. Look at your appliances as well and be sure all of the cords are intact. Replacement cords are easy to obtain.