It’s safe to say that there are few things more terrifying than a house fire. These accidents can happen for a huge range of reasons, though they’re often caused by the actions of the household itself, such as a kitchen fire or the use of candles.
However, some of the most frightening fires happen with no immediate cause—until you consider the poor electrical wiring in the home. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association notes that electrical fires and malfunctions are the second leading cause of U.S. home fires.
It’s worth remembering that your local electrician can help you dramatically minimize your household’s risk of getting caught with these kinds of fires. By keeping your eye on potential electrical issues, you can be aware of red flags that should prompt you to search “electrician near me” in a hurry! Here are the signs to look out for.
- Your Circuits Keep Tripping
It’s not unusual to trip a circuit every now and again. Your home’s breaker box is designed as a failsafe, tripping circuits that get overloaded in order to help you avoid electrical fires. In other words, most households will trip a circuit only in unusual circumstances when they’re trying to power too much at once.
However, if you’re heading to your breaker box on a regular basis, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. This is especially true if you can’t seem to power the everyday devices you need without tripping a circuit.
In some cases, you may need to call an electrician in Calabasas to repair the breaker box itself. In other cases, you may need to upgrade your home’s wiring to meet your household’s usage needs. Whatever the case, it’s crucial to call a pro as soon as possible, as some breaker box issues can result in an electrical fire.
- Your Lights Are Flickering
Like tripping your circuit breaker, it’s not uncommon to notice your lights flicker every now and again, especially due to issues with an older bulb. Most people consider this flickering to be one of the more minor types of electric problems.
However, if you’ve noticed that your lights flicker or dim every time you turn on a high-energy appliance, it might be a sign that something more is wrong.
Flickering lights can indicate damaged or deteriorating electrical wires, overloaded circuits, or other significant issues. Don’t delay: do a search for the best electrician in your area to get the help you need.
- Your Electrical Outlets and Switch Plates Are Warm
With older charging cables and appliances, a little warmth during regular use is normal. However, when it comes to your power outlets and switch places, this kind of heat should be a red flag.
If you notice that your outlets are warm to the touch, it may be a sign of wiring issues that could lead to an electrical fire. As soon as possible, reach out to a company with fast emergency service like the team at ETD Electrical Services. Let the pros know when you notice the heat from your outlet and which outlets are affected.
- You’re Seeing Sparks Fly or Getting Shocked
The last thing you want to see when you plug in an appliance is sparks flying through the air. Visible sparks can be a major sign of an impending fire, so it’s crucial that you turn off the power to the outlet in question and call an electric company as soon as possible.
The same is true if you notice that you receive a small shock when you plug something in. This may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it’s a sign that electricity is bleeding from a place it shouldn’t—which is always a red flag.
Both of the issues above can be signs of damaged or decaying wiring, which can lead to an electrical fire in the worst-case scenario.
- Your Breaker Box Is Rusty
In most cases, rust is a sign of deterioration that’s easy to ignore, as it’s more of a cosmetic issue than anything else. However, rust on your breaker box should be treated with serious consideration.
Rust happens when a metal is exposed to moisture or humidity—and everyone knows that electricity and water don’t mix well. Seeing rust on your breaker box is a sign that a possible leak or moisture issue could be affecting your entire electrical system. If you notice rust or any other signs of deterioration or moisture around your breaker box, call a pro at once to inspect the damage.
- You’re Hearing Buzzing
It might be hard to notice the subtle sound of a low buzz among the other common noises in your home, but it’s a good idea to keep an ear out for it. Humming sounds in your walls or around your utility box might seem like a minor problem, but they can be a sign of electrical issues within your property.
Old wiring, loose terminal screws, and even damage from pests like rats can affect the integrity of your electrical system and cause a buzzing sound. To ensure your safety, call a pro to check out the likely causes of the noise.
- You Use Too Many Extension Cords
If you live in an older home, you might find yourself struggling to get all of your devices and appliances plugged in. These homes often have fewer outlets than normal homes or certain outlets that don’t function at all.
It may be tempting to plug in extension cords to get the job done, but these cords are designed as temporary measures—not as everyday fixes. In some cases, using these cords can overload your electrical system and act as a fire hazard.
Instead of trying this DIY fix, contact an electrical service to fix old outlets or add new ones as needed.
Contact Your Local Electrician With Questions
If you’ve noticed any of the signs above—or if you’re worried about other electrical issues within your home—contacting a local electrician in your area is the way to go. These experts can help you identify and fix any problems within your household, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that your family is safe. Be sure to search for helpful experts in your area, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions!