Losing your home to a fire is a devastating experience. Photos, mementos, and all of your belongings can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Not to mention the scary thought of your family not making it out safely.
While we all hope that something like this will never happen, the sad reality is that house fires are quite common. Did you know that electrical problems are one of the leading causes of house fires?
Over 51,000 house fires each year are caused by faulty wiring, shorts in electrical cords, and electrical overloads.
Many of these fires could have been prevented if homeowners had known the warning signs of electrical problems. We don’t want anyone losing their home, possessions, or life due to a preventable fire. Let’s look at a few electrical warning signs that you should never ignore.
Dangers of Electrical Problems
Having electrical problems in your home is not only a fire hazard, but it can also be dangerous for you and your family in other ways.
Electrocution can happen if you come into contact with electrical wiring that is damaged or if there is a short circuit.
A short circuit is when an electrical current flows through an unintended path. This can happen if the wiring becomes frayed or damaged. When this occurs, it can create sparks.
You should be especially aware of electrical problems if you have small children or pets because they are more likely to come into contact with electrical cords and outlets at their level.
Is the Wiring in My Old House Safe?
Older homes are more susceptible to electrical problems than new houses. There are several reasons why this is the case.
Electrical codes were not as stringent in the past as they are now. That means wiring could be run improperly, or outlets could be installed in unsafe areas (like too close to the water from faucets and other plumbing).
Older homes were also not built to handle all the electrical devices we use today. So breaker boxes from the past aren’t always adequate for the electrical load placed on them. The breaker might not flip off when it should, leading to a fire.
In the past, electrical components were made from different materials than they are now. For example, wiring made from aluminum is more likely to corrode over time, making it unsafe now.
If you live in an older home, it’s essential to have it inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure that it is safe and up to code and that there are no electrical hazards.
Warning Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home
Now that we’ve looked at the dangers of electrical problems and why older homes are more susceptible, let’s look at some warning signs that you should never ignore:
1. Flickering or dimming lights
This can signify an electrical overload or a loose electrical connection.
2. Sparks from outlets or electrical cords
This signifies a severe electrical problem and should be addressed immediately.
Burning smells: This could be caused by electrical wiring that is overheating. It’s a hazardous situation, and you should leave the house immediately and call an electrician.
3. Cracked or damaged outlets
Damaged outlets can cause electrical shocks or start fires. Do not use them until they have been repaired by a professional.
4. Frequently tripped circuit breaker
If your circuit breaker trips regularly, it could signal an electrical overload.
Outlets that feel hot to the touch: This is another sign of overheating and should be addressed immediately.
5. Electrical cord that feels hot to the touch
This is a severe fire hazard and you should unplug the cord immediately.
Keep your home safe with a qualified electrician
If you see any of these electrical warning signs in your home, you must call a qualified electrician immediately. At Lee Company, we have a large team of licensed electricians who can keep your home safe. We’ll inspect anything that worries you, inform you about electrical risks, and repair any problems quickly and correctly.
Do you need a home electrical inspection?CALL US NOW AT 615.567.1000