As a homeowner, you will probably know the importance of keeping your electrical systems up and running. It takes more than just paying the utility bills on time and ensuring that appliances are in order. You need to pay attention to electrical safety as well. The figures are alarming when it comes to such incidents.
According to statistics, approximately 1000 deaths per year occur in the US due to electrical injuries. At least 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents are reported per year. Also, 5% of all burn unit admissions are attributed to electrical injuries. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notes that electrical malfunction is the third leading cause of residential fires in the US.
These statistics underscore the significance of staying on top of electrical issues. Besides posing safety hazards, they can disrupt your daily routine. Recognizing the warning signs is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional home environment.
In this article, we will highlight a few red flags that indicate the need to call an electrician sooner rather than later.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips
A frequent trip of the circuit breaker is a reason to worry as it indicates electrical problems in a home. Circuit breakers guard your house from electrical fires by tripping and cutting off electricity when they sense an overload. If they trip often or for no apparent reason, there could be serious underlying problems such as poor wiring, damaged appliances, or overloaded circuits.
At times, a defect in the circuit breaker could pose a hazard. The recent recall of the 1.4 million electrical panels by Schneider Electric due to thermal burn and fire risks is an instance of threats caused by a defective product. Homeowners must call a competent electrician to evaluate the electrical system before the worst happens.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
Although flickering lights do not seem like a big deal, they might be a red flag indicating an impending hazard. Dimming or flickering lights may signify broken light fixtures, overloaded circuits, or loose wiring. In some instances, it can indicate problems with the supply from the utility company or variations in voltage.
An electrician should look into any persistent flickering or dimming to identify the problem and resolve it. Call them immediately if it affects several fixtures or rooms to avoid serious issues and guarantee the security of your residential lighting system.
In December 2023, an incident occurred in Rigby, Idaho, when a house burnt down due to an electrical issue, with damages worth $250,000. Fortunately, there were no casualties because the family was not at home. The story could have been different had the homeowners paid more attention, and called a Rigby, ID, electrician for a quick inspection of wiring and circuits.
In more cases, strange smells like burning are noticeable before an electrical fault manifests. Overlooking burning odors from outlets, switches, or appliances is the worst mistake a homeowner can make. These smells may indicate electrical arcing, overheated cables, or other dangerous situations. Watch out for burn marks or discoloration surrounding switches or outlets.
According to Platinum Electric, homeowners should prioritize their family’s safety by identifying potential hazards and implementing solutions according to the highest safety standards. This is the last place to cut corners because prompt and proper action can save lives.
Buzzing or Crackling Sounds
Another red flag you should pay attention to is buzzing, crackling, or popping sounds. Electrical systems should operate silently, and if they do not, you need to call an expert right away. These sounds frequently point to broken wiring, faulty connections, or electrical arcing in the system.
Overlooking them may result in short circuits, electrical fires, or other problems. A qualified electrician will perform a complete inspection to get down to the root cause of any strange noises. The sooner they resolve the underlying problems, the safer you feel. It is a small price to feel stress-free.
Warm or Hot Outlets
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Warm or hot outlets, switches, and plugs are clear signs of something being amiss with your electrical system. Faulty wiring, loose connections, and overloaded circuits are the potential causes of warmth or heat at these points. Although you may want to overlook the issue, it surely poses significant safety risks.
Continuing to use outlets or switches may lead to electrical fires or shock hazards down the line. The danger persists even if you do not use them. Experts recommend refraining from using the affected outlets or switches and calling an electrician immediately.
In conclusion, homeowners should be vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing electrical problems. Calling an electrician should be the first thing on your mind if you notice one or more of these red flags. A regular inspection schedule makes sense even if everything looks good. Timely intervention can minimize hazards and give you peace of mind knowing that your home and family are safe.