Short circuits are a common type of electrical problem in the home. But don’t let their common nature fool you — they can do serious damage to your home and its electrical system.

Short circuits occur when hot wire encounters a conductive object. When this happens, there could be damage to appliances, light bulbs, electrical shocks to people and pets, as well as the potential for a fire.

Older homes may be especially prone to short circuits. 

Here’s how to avoid an electrical short circuit no matter how old your electrical wiring or grounded outlets are. These tips will help keep electric power flowing from the power lines through your power cords and into your DVD player, light or clock, cell phones, and more.

Avoiding Short Circuits

Tip #1: Ensure your outlets are working correctly.

Before you plug something into an outlet, make sure that your outlet is functioning as it should. If there are burn marks, buzzing or popping sounds, or a burning smell coming from the outlet, do not use it. Are there sparks coming from it? Never plug anything into it! If the outlet is 15 to 20 years old, it should also be examined closely, as there can be faulty wiring or loose box connections coming from it.

Tip #2: Take care of the circuit breaker.

Your circuit breaker will protect against short-circuiting. To keep your circuit breaker functioning properly, basic maintenance to this area of your home is important. Check the circuit breaker for any loose fittings, cracks, or other damage, and be sure that all fuses are labeled properly. If there is any dirt or other debris on or near the panel, wipe this down, so it doesn’t get inside.

Tip #3: Schedule an electrical inspection.

Your body needs an annual doctor’s visit. Your car needs regular oil changes. Guess what? Your electrical system should be inspected annually, too.

Our experienced team of electricians at Prairie Electric will help diagnose any potential issues happening with your circuit breaker or electrical system. This will help prevent short circuits from happening in the first place. If there is anything that we notice, we can help find a cost-effective solution. We’ll resolve the issue and get everything working safely and effectively.

Preventing short circuits is crucial, and it helps keep you and your family safe. If you’re tired of plugging and unplugging electronics; if you’re concerned that you may develop an internal short circuit; that a circuit is interrupted; or that your circuit wiring is faulty, contact us today!

Prairie Electric’s expert electricians are always in standby mode — and ready to help. For additional information on our electrical inspection services or to make sure your electrical systems are operating safely and at full throttle, or if you need any repairs or replacements, get in touch with us.