Malfunctioning of electrical connections is the cause of fires in many houses. These fires can easily be prevented if the electrical connections are maintained well. There are certain steps you can take to protect your home from electrical fires.

Find the date of the last inspection by checking the fuse box or the breaker panel. Local council regulations require you to get your electrical system inspected only if you have modified the system by renovation or addition. However, an inspection every ten years is a good precautionary measure. It helps to identify any potential causes of electrical fires. Here is a list of things to check whether your home’s wiring needs to be upgraded:

#1 Dimming or Flickering Lights

Light fixtures consume very less power. So dimming or flickering of the light fixture may be caused by power-guzzling electrical appliances or space heaters that are wired to the same circuit as the light fixtures. For example, when you start the washing machine, it draws more current, and the electricity supply to the light fixture reduces, resulting in dimming. Consult your electrician to install dedicated lines for major appliances or moving lights to different circuits in your home.

#2 Extension Cords

While visible electric wires are not aesthetically appealing, there is another reason why they are concealed within the walls; it helps protect them from damage. It isn’t uncommon for people to use extension cords when they find that they need a few extra plug points.

When you run an extension cord, you indeed create the additional points that you need, but these also overburden your electrical system. It can result in damaged outlets, tripped breakers, or the possibility of a fire. It is essential that extension cords be used for a short-term requirement. If you need outlets consistently, ask an electrician to install more outlets.

#3 Sparking

This is a danger signal, and you need to locate its source. If the sparks emerge from a breaker panel, outlet or fuse box, call an electrician immediately. If the spark is from an appliance, you need to get the appliance repaired. A technician can test the appliance and the outlet and fix the problem.

#4 Unpleasant Odours

The use of a new appliance sometimes produces an off-odour for a while. But if the source of the odd smell is an outlet, unplug the appliance from it and do not use the outlet until you get it tested by an electrician. If the odour is from a fuse box or a breaker panel, turn off all connections and call the electrician without any delay.

#5 Switch Plates or Outlets That are Hot To the Touch

A power outlet does not get hot when you use an appliance like a toaster. If the outlet is hot, turn it off. If it continues to remain hot after plugging off the appliance, improper wiring may be the culprit. Call an electrician; he may first ask you to disconnect it by flipping the breaker or removing a fuse before he comes in to inspect the system. The wiring may need replacement, and a thorough check of the system will give him a clear idea of what’s required to be done.

#6 Tripped Breakers and Blown Fuses

Electrical systems can get overloaded. Fuses and circuit breakers are installed to prevent overloading. They blow or trip when the system gets overloaded. You need an electrician who will either upgrade the circuit or add a new line. An electrical current can jump for various reasons such as loose outlets and prongs. A worn and fraying wire and also produce a buzzing sound. If you have identified that the sound as coming from a particular outlet, stop using it and call an electrician.

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