As one of the most common causes of house fires in the United States, faulty electrical wiring can lurk behind the walls of any home, regardless of its age. In addition to aging wires, improper installation can also cause unsafe conditions in a home and may even start a fire.
Fortunately, most electrical problems display signs and symptoms before a fire occurs. However, you have to pay attention and listen to what your house is telling you. Following are three scary signs that something is wrong with your electrical wiring.
Blown Breakers and Flickering Lights
While blown breakers may merely indicate that you have too many things plugged into one circuit, they can also indicate faulty wiring. If you experience blown breakers on a regular basis even when there are just a few things being used on one circuit, you should have your wiring evaluated by an electrician.
Additionally, dimming or flickering lights are also an indication that the circuit is overloaded. You can liken dimming lights to a warning sign that's telling you the breaker is close to being tripped. All of these signs should be taken seriously.
Burned and Charred Outlets
Discoloration found on and around outlets and light switches may indicate that the outlet has shorted out and caught fire at some point. You see, when a switch short circuits, an arc of electricity causes a short-lived fire, which can leave burn marks on the outlet itself.
While burned and charred outlets may indicate a local problem within the outlet itself, they can also point to more dangerous problems with the electrical wiring.
Smoke and Burning Smell
The smell of smoke is never a good sign. If you smell an acrid burning smell, and can't find the source, the culprit might lie behind your walls.
Unfortunately, shorted out or burning wires can catch surrounding materials on fire, resulting in a house fire. If it smells like something is burning and you can't find the cause, call an electrician immediately. If you can locate the general area where the smell is coming from, turn off the breaker for that area until the electrician arrives.
Problems with electrical wiring is scary. Fortunately, most problems do not occur without warning. However, you must pay attention to warning signs and call an electrician if you have any concerns about your wiring. Doing so could save your home and ultimately your life.
Check out companies such as B & N Electric Company Inc for more information.