How to Deal with Electrical Issues around the Home

Posted on: 21 November 2017

The electrical system in your home is inherently safe and should provide you with great service, so long as you keep a watchful eye on it. While there are thousands of fires around the country every year caused by electrical malfunction, many of these could be prevented if the homeowner were to pay more attention. How can you help to avoid such a catastrophe?

Beware the Overload

Firstly, always make sure that you do not overload the system at any point throughout the home. This is quite easy to do, as a typical household will have more electronic devices than they have electrical outlets. In this case, it's tempting to buy extension cords and treat these as a permanent fixture, even though they are only designed to be temporary. If you're not careful, they can become damaged or the cords can become kinked, which could lead to a short-out and potentially a fire.

Hot to Touch

Get into the habit of checking the electrical cords and plugs on all your appliances from time to time and, in particular, look at the associated outlet. While it is certainly possible for an appliance to get hot to the touch of course, the outlet itself should never heat up, and if you find this to be the case, unplug everything from that circuit until it can be inspected.

Blowing and Tripping

Blown fuses and tripped breakers are an indication of potential trouble, especially if this seems to be happening too frequently. Can you trace these back to the same outlet each time? If so, the associated circuit is overloaded and you may find that you have too many items attached. Once again, this could be a case of "extension cord syndrome."

Sound and Smell

Sometimes, you will encounter a strange buzzing noise, and if it's coming from an appliance, it means that electrical current is "arcing" between two points. Something is loose within the plug or wires may be frayed, and you should disconnect everything until it's been inspected.

You may also notice a smell at the same time and, in most cases, this will indicate that something inside is burning. A new appliance (when first used) could give off an unusual aroma, but ordinarily, a funny smell will indicate a problem.

Looking at the Fuse Box

Lastly, consider when the last time that you had the fuse box checked by an inspector was. Certainly, a record needs to be entered whenever an expert carries out some maintenance, but other than that, it may have been some time since your system was given the once over. It's never a bad idea to bring in an expert periodically to have a look.

When You Need to Act

If you suspect any problems with your electrical system, get in touch with an electrician as soon as possible so that you don't become another statistic.