Electrical problems are a major cause for house fires across the UK, and keeping your household electrics in good working order is the only way to avoid serious risk to your health, safety and property. There are some common signs of electrical faults that can be overlooked and ignored. If you’re concerned that your home has an electrical fault, keep an eye out for these common signs so that you can get professional help as soon as possible and ensure you keep your family safe.
Circuit Breakers Trip Regularly
If you live in a newer home you’ll likely have a circuit breaker in place to protect your household from electric shocks. If a surge happens, the circuit breaker trips and stops the flow of electricity automatically. This isn’t unusual and doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an electrical fault, you can just turn the circuit breaker back on via the switch panel. However, a circuit breaker tripping regularly is an indication that your home is suffering from frequent surges and this is a common sign that there is a problem with the electrics in your house. There could be too many high amp appliances being used in your home or there could be a fault in the wiring which will need to be looked at by a trained electrician.
Shocks From Outlets
An outlet that shocks you, no matter how small, is a sign of danger. No outlet, switch or wire should give you a shock of any kind, in fact that is the complete opposite of what it’s meant to do. This is a clear indicator that the outlet is faulty or damaged and should be looked at as soon as possible. Failing to get this fixed can lead to serious injury and death, or at the very least can seriously damage any appliances that are plugged into the outlet. If you find that an outlet that shocks you is also sparking when appliances are plugged into it, this is definitely cause for an emergency electrician. In any case where an electrician has to look at an outlet it’s a good idea to get the wiring around the outlet checked too.
Noisy Or Discoloured Outlets
Any switch or outlet that makes noise or shows signs of discolouring shouldn’t be used and needs to be looked at by an electrician. Faulty wiring or a loose connection can cause the switch or outlet to short, causing a buzzing sound or turning the outlet or switch to go yellow, brown or black. These are both signs of a serious electrical risk that can cause death by electrocution as well as electrical fires.Don’t ever try to fix a noisy or discoloured outlet yourself.
A smelly plug outlet is another sure sign of an electrical problem. While a new appliance might have a slight smell the first time you plug it in, there shouldn’t be a strong, long lasting or persistent smell coming from any outlet in your home. If you find a particular outlet continues to smell, it must not be used. It will need to be checked by an electrician as soon as possible and not touched or used until it has been fixed. If you smell any kind of electrical burning, plastic burning or acrid smell, this could be a sign of an electrical fire. Electrical fires don’t always start at the outlet, they can also start inside your walls.
If you find that your lights are flickering a lot, or that they seem to dim intermittently when turned on, this is another common sign that there is a faulty wire or overloaded circuit in your lights. This could mean that the lighting in your home will need rewiring, which is illegal to attempt yourself. You will need to get a qualified electrician to come in and rewire your home.
Electrical Inspections From First Strike
Regular electrical inspections and tests are recommended to check the wiring and outlets in your house remain safe. To ensure that all of your electrical wiring and electric circuits in your home are in full working order, book an electrical inspection from a professional. This will ensure that you avoid any electrical hazards caused by faults that you were not aware of. If you notice any of the common signs of an electrical fault mentioned here, it’s worth contacting us for advice. To find out more or to book an electrical inspection, give First Strike Electrical a call on 0203 633 4536. Alternatively, fill out a contact form on our website and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.