Always look out for signs that you have an electrical problem at home. Many home fires are caused when the electrical system malfunctions. Here are signs to look for if you’re worried about electrical issues.

Flickering or Dimming Lights are Signs of an Electrical Problem at Home

If lights are flickering or dimming, you may have appliances that are using too much power for the circuit. Bring in an electrician to determine if new circuits need to be installed.

Odors Coming From an Outlet

It’s possible that brand new appliances might emit a funny smell the first couple of times you put them into use. However, if you smell burning coming from one of your outlets, this could signify an electrical problem at home. Stop using the outlet and call your electrician.

Using Extension Cords Can Cause an Electrical Problem at Home

Don’t use too many extension cords in your home. Don’t run cords across rooms or doorways if possible. It’s never a good idea to try to hide extension cords under carpets or rugs. This means they’ll get stepped on often, which leads to them wearing down. When the insulation coating wears off the cord, it can cause a fire.

You Have an Electrical Problem at Home if You See Sparks

You never want to see sparks coming out of an outlet, breaker panel, or fuse box. Those situations require the help of a professional electrician immediately.

Do you see an appliance sparking? That probably means the appliance itself needs to be replaced or repaired. Stop using the appliance and take advantage of any warranties prior to buying a new one.

Hot Outlets

A hot outlet is a common sign of an electrical problem at home. It’s normal if an appliance gets a little warm during use, but you don’t want your outlets getting hot. Unplug everything from a hot outlet and ask your electrician to figure out the cause.

Do You Notice Buzzing?

You won’t typically hear anything coming from your electrical wiring. Buzzing noises mean you have an issue somewhere within the system. Loose outlets or prongs might cause this noise. Frayed wires can cause it, too. If you hear anything buzzing inside an outlet, stop using it immediately and get it fixed.

Tripped Breakers and Blown Fuses 

Fuses and circuit breakers are meant to help avoid any overloads in your wiring system. Hairdryers and vacuum cleaners may trip a breaker occasionally. When one outlet seems to trip often, it is a more fundamental issue with the system. Get it fixed right away.

Incorrect Bathroom or Kitchen Outlets 

Bathrooms and kitchens need special types of outlets. These are called ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and they are shock-resistant. Replace any non-GFCI outlets in the bathroom or kitchen.

Pay attention to any signs that you might have an electrical problem at home. The last thing you want to do is ignore a sign that ends up starting a house fire. 

Redtail Building Services provides home inspections to Southeastern Virginia. Contact us to schedule an appointment.