It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare, they are responsible for significant property damage, injuries and even fatalities. What is it? Electrical fires! We depend on it everyday, but when not handled properly, it can pose a serious safety issue.
Fortunately, Electrical Fires Are Preventable
Repairing common electrical hazards is easier than you think and can save you a lot of heartache down the road. Here are a few of these issues:
It’s a mistake most of us make and don’t even realize. Plugging in multiple gadgets or appliances into a single outlet. There is a maximum number of amperage each electrical outlet can handle simultaneously. The chances of having a short circuit or electrical fire are significantly increased when you have several plugs into the same outlet.
You can correct this issue by reducing the number of devices in one socket, but this can be difficult in today’s times, you can avoid using them all in the same area, or have an electrician install more electrical outlets.
Poor or Outdated Wiring
It is common for homes here in Central Florida to have faulty wiring. Older homes typically have wiring that is not designed for our modern lifestyle. For instance, a 60 amp electrical service, which are common in older homes, can’t handle powering a couple of appliances at the same time. We are using more power than ever and older homes just can’t keep up.
Older homes also have issues with aluminum wiring, the deterioration of the rubber coating, leaves the wires exposed and causes a fire hazard.
Especially when they are located between insulation. Our new technology and appliances that require more energy, can overload the circuit breaker causing lights to flicker or losing electricity all together.
Water and Electricity
We all know water and electricity don’t mix, but we also all have outlets in the kitchen or bathroom. They need to have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), to stay up to code. These outlets are designed to shut off the electricity when it comes into contact with water. Improper grounding can lead to power outages and fire.
Warning Signs You Need to Contact an Electrician
If you get a shock from plugging or unplugging something from an outlet.
Charred or discolored outlets. This occurs when an electrical spark jumps in the air from one wire to another.
Flickering lights is not something you should ignore. It could be faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit. It can also indicate you may not have enough amps and your lamps and appliances need more power.
Not enough outlets. If you find yourself needing to use extension cords, you probably have outdated wiring.
If you smell burnt plastic or vinyl and trace that distinct smell to an outlet or wall, it is important to contact an electrician right away.