According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 51,000 fires each year are caused by home electrical fires. If you want to know if you are at risk, ask yourself these five questions to see if your home has the warning signs of electrical fire risk:
1. Do your circuit breakers keep tripping?
Circuit breakers are supposed to trip if your circuit is pushed beyond its capacity, but if your circuit breakers are tripping frequently, this could mean that your wiring is consistently overloaded, or you have a short circuit in your wiring. If this is the case, don’t just reset – investigate. A consistently tripped breaker will wear out, and if it stops tripping, a fire could result.
2. Do you smell something burning but cannot locate the smell?
A common complaint reported by homeowners who have experienced an electrical fire is a faint burning smell that went unidentified. If you smell this, it is probably a short circuit that is causing arching - a break in the electrical circuit which causes the current to dangerously spark or “jump” across the break. This smell cannot be ignored.
3. Do you have discolored switches or outlets?
Arching causes mini-fires that leave a charred discoloring near electrical sources. If you have a charred or discolored switch or outlet, stop using them immediately and call an electrician.
4. Does your home have old wiring?
If you have an old house, the wiring was not designed to accommodate to meet the demands of today’s high electrical load. If your wiring is consistently working in overload, it can overheat and send sparks flying to cause a house fire. Old wiring must be addressed.
5. Do your lights flicker?
While this could mean you have a loose light bulb, it could also mean that you have loose connections, faulty wiring, or circuit overload. If examining and tightening the bulb does not remedy the situation, an electrician should be notified.
In any of these instances, it’s important to contact a licensed electrician before anything goes wrong. Contact the expert team at Electric Blue today for all your electrical needs.