Homeowner How-To’s: Spot Common Electrical Issues

Most homeowners don’t think much about the electrical systems in their homes until those systems stop working. This could be a costly mistake, since according to the National Fire Protection Agency, the were 47,820 home fires directly related to electrical issues reported in the U.S. from 2007-2011. Check out these common electrical problems and learn what you can do to keep your home safe.photodune-472478-separating-electrical-wires-s.jpg

  • Too many power strips and extension cords:

    Do you have a plethora of power strip tangles at every outlet in your home? Or maybe extension cords snaking around rooms and over doorways? If so, it’s clear your home doesn’t have enough outlets to meet your needs. To boost safety and reduce the risk of fire or overloaded outlets, call an electrician to add more outlets where you need them. Electricians can add extras for around $100 per outlet.

  • Overloaded outlets:

    Speaking of overloading, it’s important for homeowners to pay attention to which items and appliances are plugged in where. High-wattage items or lightbulbs in low-wattage outlets are a big no-no, and can cause major damage to lamps, electronics or appliances that aren’t plugged in properly. This is something that you can take care of on your own, though. Simply read wattage and manufacturer’s recommendations on appliance and light bulb packaging and only plug one high-wattage item at a time into an outlet.

  • Plugs falling out of sockets:

    Ever noticed sockets or outlets in your home that are loose when you plug an appliance in? While it might not seem like a big deal, this loose or worn out outlet could easily cause a fire. Luckily you only have to replace the outlet–an easy fix for an electrician to make.

  • Tripped fuses or flickering lights:

    If you’re experiencing tripped fuses on a regular basis or you’ve noticed the lights in your home flickering from time to time, it’s wise to call an electrician right away. According to Platinum Electricians, both of these scenarios are likely symptoms of a potentially dangerous problem with the circuits in your home. A trained professional can evaluate your electrical system and can make recommendations from there.

  • Two-prong plug outlets:

    If you’re living in an older home with outlets that will only accommodate two-prong plugs, then your electrical system may not be grounded and will likely need a major upgrade to meet modern safety codes. Give your electrician a call and have them do an evaluation for you.

Now that you know what potential problems to look for, your can check your home for safety issues and be sure that your electrical system is doing its job!

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