What are the Fire Dangers of Faulty Wiring?
Replacing our home’s wiring is likely one of the lowest items on our home repair list. Why? Probably because we assume that everything must be OK. When we plug something in, it works, and when we flip the switch, the lights come on.
Before we put electrical repairs on the bottom of our list, though, consider this:
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Fire Departments nationwide respond to approximately 25,900 home electrical fires per year. About 280 people die and 1,125 people are wounded in these fires, and roughly $1.1 billion in property damage occurs.
However, due to strict electrical standards, the work that certified electricians perform should safely last for many years. Many homeowners in the US, then, should feel safe, but how do you know when it is time to have electrical work done?
Signs That Electrical Work Is Needed
- Wiring that is excessively old or in bad condition.
- Tripping breakers.
- Smell of electrical smoke at any time.
- Overloaded Circuits. What do we mean by this? If friends or others who are not certified electricians perform work at your house, they might not realize they hooked too many outlets, appliances, or other items to the same breaker. This might cause a dangerous situation if too many appliances are turned on at the same time or too many items are hooked into these outlets at the same time.
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- Buzzing or other sounds coming from plugs, switches, or lights.
- Black or brown stains, or melted plastic, on or around outlets or switches.
- Open junction boxes or missing covers for outlets and switches.
- Rust on breaker panels or meter sockets.
- Missing breaker box cover or filler plates. In other words, if you can look into the innermost section of your panel, this is a dangerous situation for children or others who may stick fingers or other objects into the live section of the panel.
If you notice any of these signs in your house, we would highly recommend that you call a certified electrician to look over the problem for you. Most electrical contractors will do this for free, and they can usually give you an accurate and free estimate of how much the repairs will cost by this visit. If you notice any of these warning signs, please do not hesitate to call us! We are here to keep you connected and to help ensure that you and your family are safe.
Other Reasons for An Inspection
Even if none of the more serious warning signs above apply to you, there are other things you might notice around your home that may warrant an inspection:
- If your house has ungrounded, two-prong outlets, especially if they’re in a kitchen or bathroom.
- If you use extension cords to provide power to a certain location. Extension cords are usually fine for temporary power if the cord is in good condition and meets the power requirements for the device you’re using, but if you use an extension cord to provide power to a location that simply does not have an outlet, it may be a good idea just to put an outlet at that location.
When it’s all said and done, if you ever feel like there’s an unsafe condition in your home, please do not hesitate to call a certified electrician to inspect the problem. These estimates are typically free, and they could help you have the peace of mind knowing that your home’s electrical system is safe and sound.