Electrical malfunctions cause thousands of house fires yearly in the United States. Luckily, most of them are preventable. Sparking is never a good sign. It could indicate that the wires are overheating and causing fires. If your breakers or fuses are frequently tripping, consider having a professional inspect your home’s wiring. It may be time to upgrade to three-prong outlets or GFCI outlets.
Electric shock is a serious health risk that can cause severe injuries like burns and fractures. It can also be fatal for victims with weak hearts or cardiac conditions. The shock can affect the nervous system, which leads to blackouts, seizures, and a loss of consciousness. It can also lead to long-term side effects such as arthritis, muscle pain, joint stiffness, ear ringing, memory loss, anxiety, and PTSD.
Exposed faulty or outdated wiring and electrical cords are fire hazards and should be addressed immediately. You should check the cords regularly and replace them if they are damaged or worn out. You should also not use appliances with wet hands, as they can conduct electricity and cause a shock. If you notice that the plastic covering on the wires has cracked or is missing, this is a sign of poor installation. If the cables are tangled or have exposed prongs, this is another indication of a problem. Unexplained, high electricity bills may also indicate that the wiring has been compromised and should be checked by a professional electrician.
Faulty wiring is a leading cause of house fires, and one every homeowner should be aware of. The longer electrical issues go unchecked, the greater the risk of fires. These problems can be caused by everything from heavy reliance on extension cords to old knob and tube wiring that is outdated and unable to handle modern electrical demands. Over time, the heat generated by electrical currents can cause the conductor (wires) to expand and contract, loosening the connection. When the connection is lost, electricity may arc, producing intense heat that could melt and burn the insulation. These arcing connections are known as “arc faults” and are one of the leading causes of electrical fires. To reduce the risk of arcing, always keep your appliances at the maximum recommended wattage and never use extension cords as permanent replacements for household electrical needs. Also, regularly feel your outlets and avoid pushing things like boxes, furniture or curtains against them – especially if they’re old. Also, look for signs of worn or tangled wires that need to be replaced with new ones.
Many home appliances – like fridges, stoves, ovens, microwaves, hair dryers and so on – require high energy. They’re prone to wear and tear, too. If you neglect to get them fixed as soon as they start showing signs of wear and tear, they can cause damage to the electrical circuit in your house. If a faulty appliance continues to operate, it will draw excessive current and heat the wires. Extreme heat can lead to a short circuit, a major fire hazard. In the worst-case scenario, the faulty appliance can ignite wallpaper, curtains and insulation and cause a massive fire. Luckily, there are a few warning signs that can help you catch problems with your home’s wiring before they become dangerous and cause fire damage. One of the most common is a tripped circuit breaker. Other outdated or damaged wiring signs include buzzing, flickering or dimming lights. Any discoloration or smoke around the outlets is also a bad sign and should be checked out by a professional electrician.
Damaged Electrical Cords
Over time, electrical cords can become damaged. If you notice that your cords have frayed or cracked insulation, it’s time to remove them and replace them with new ones. In addition, you should never staple cords in place or run them under rugs or furniture; these are tripping hazards and can cause them to overheat. Another sign of electrical wiring problems is if your circuit breakers keep tripping. If your breakers trip frequently, having a professional look at your wiring system and recommend upgrades is a good idea. Flickering, buzzing, or dimming lights are also signs of trouble. When your lights flash or dim, it indicates that the switch in your wall is not working correctly. If you have these problems, calling an electrician is a good idea.
Damaged Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets that are worn out due to faulty wiring can create fire hazards. They can also produce sparks when plugs are inserted or pulled out of them, which can lead to electrocution or a short circuit that causes a fire.
It is important to replace worn-out outlet covers and switch plates, which are a sign that the wiring in the outlet needs to be replaced. It is also important to only use properly grounded three-prong plugs and not two-prong adapters. The third prong on a pin prevents the cord from being pulled out of an outlet and plugged into a non-grounded two-prong receptacle that can cause a fire.
If you see that your electrical outlet is hot to the touch, it could be a sign that the wiring inside has overheated. This fire hazard should be addressed immediately by a professional electrician.
Old wiring systems may not be able to handle the current load in your home, causing overloading and overheating of wires. Overheated wires can melt the insulation and cause a house fire.