5 Warning Signs that You May Be at Risk of an Electrical Hazard

The electrical system in your home or business provides the much-needed power to run your various devices and appliances. However, while this system is often installed properly for maximum longevity, sometimes problems can emerge and make it a hazard. It can risk causing a fire, and it can even bring the risk of electrocution. Since these are issues that can cause major property damage or severe injury, it’s critical to stay vigilant of any warning signs and have any problems evaluated and handled promptly.

No one ever expects to be in an electrical hazard, but knowing the warning signs can help you protect yourself and your investment. Here are some of the most common signals that you may be at risk.

1. Your Circuit Breaker Trips Frequently

What do you do when your circuit breaker trips? Many homeowners and business owners just flip the switch back on and continue with their various activities. While this may restore power, not investigating the cause of frequent breaker trips can put your home or business at risk. One reason the breaker is tripping may be because it’s sensing an electrical overload somewhere in your system.

Another reason may be a short circuit. This is a situation where an electrical current flows through a faulty or damaged wire, and it can cause sparks. If this happens near combustible materials, it can easily start a fire.

Why is it important to check frequent breaker trips? If the overloads or short circuits become too much next time and your breaker doesn’t trip for some reason, it can lead to a devastating fire.

2. Your Outlet and Switch Plates Are Hot to the Touch

If your outlet or switch plates are hot to the touch, it’s a sign of an electrical issue. Sometimes you may notice outlets and switches are discolored or sparking. This could be a sign of an electrical overload or a short circuit. If you’re seeing this, it’s important to have an electrician take a look at what’s going on. They can help you determine the cause and fix it.

3. There’s a Burning Smell With an Unknown Source

If you smell something burning and don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s time to investigate. Electrical wiring can start to smell when it’s overheating, mainly because of a short circuit. This can be a major warning sign of an impending fire. If you notice this smell, turn off the power at your mains and then call an electrician to come and take a look.

4. Misbehaving Lights

Sometimes your lights may start starting to behave oddly. For instance, you may notice them brightening more than usual, dimming, flickering, or burning more often than usual. If this is happening, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with your electrical wiring. This could be a loose connection, a bad bulb, or a problem with the wiring itself causing voltage fluctuations. Loose connections and fluctuations can easily lead to a fire, so it’s important to have them fixed as soon as possible.

5. The Presence of Rodents in Your Home or Business

Rodents are attracted to many things, and one of them is electrical wiring. They chew on the insulation around wires, and this can cause loose connections and short-circuiting. These two issues can put your home or business at risk of a fire. If you’ve had recent rodent activity, contact an electrician to evaluate your entire electrical system to make sure these animals didn’t cause any damage. If these animals are still on your property, get in touch with an exterminator to have them removed.

It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of an electrical hazard. If you see any of these signals, have an electrician determine the cause and fix it. By doing this, you can help protect yourself, your home, and your business from a potential fire or electrocution.