House fires are frequently caused by electrical problems that weren’t identified and dealt with on time. That’s why you should be aware of these potential causes of electrical fires in your home so that you can react timely.
1. Dimming or flickering lights
Dimming or flickering lights are rarely caused by a damaged fixture, as they need a small amount of power. In this case, it’s very likely that the problem is in energy hogs like large appliances that are wired to the same circuit. Appliances that heat or cool need a lot of power, so dimming lights could be a sign of a big electric appliance that is drawing current to heat water or to cool the food. In this case, you should consult a professional to decide whether it’s necessary to move the lighting to a different circuit or install lines only for large appliances.
2. Burning odor and sparks
The moment you notice a burning odor coming from a switch or an outlet, turn off the panel’s power at once. It would also be wise to contact an electrician to be sure there aren’t any damages to the appliances or the cords. A faulty device or a wiring problem could be the cause of the problem, and that’s something you need to deal with as soon as possible. It can also be a sign of the beginning of an electrical fire – one more reason to act fast.
Another sign to pay attention to is a spark that appears when you plug in a device. It’s not an unusual occurrence from time to time, but if it happens frequently, there’s an issue with the outlet of the circuit. If there’s also a popping sound accompanying the sparkle, maybe a wire is loose.
3. Electrical shocks
Electrical shock usually appears after you plug a wire into a socket or if you touch an electrical appliance. If you experience tingling or a mild shock each time you do it, there’s probably a ground fault in the appliance or the electrical wiring is damaged. If you ignore this sign, it could lead to more dangerous situations, so any form of electrical shock should be taken as a serious issue. Don’t touch any electrical appliances with wet hands after you have experienced an electrical shock and find an affordable electrician to identify and remove the source of the problem.
4. Circuit breaker problems
When the electrical circuit is overloaded, the circuit breaker will shut off the main power supply. Still, if you have an old circuit breaker, it could also be an issue. If the breaker trips frequently, you shouldn’t try to solve the problem on your own, as you don’t have the skill to deal with an electrical panel, so seek for a professional help.
5. Hot outlets or switch plates
Any outlet should ever become hot, even if the one from a toaster or a space heater. Electric current could slightly warm up the switch plate, but if it’s hot, turn the appliance off and try with another outlet. If the outlet is hot even you haven’t plugged anything, the chance is it isn’t wired properly, so consult an electrician.
The important thing is to be aware of signs of a potential damage to an electrical appliance or the wiring, but it’s equally important to take the matter seriously and react in a timely fashion by hiring a professional electrician to resolve the issue. Otherwise, you are in an unnecessary danger of a house fire.