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When to Call an Electrician: Safety Tips for Your Home

Some electrical problems are an easy DIY fix, but other problems require a professional to get involved.

Electrical issues are also the number one cause for household fires, so these issues need to be taken seriously. Here are some simple electrical safety tips that you can follow to maintain the safety of your house.

Light Bulbs

Cats screwing in a light bulb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have light bulb problems, don’t let the cats take charge. It’s common to have a light bulb burn out in your home but the simple task of changing a light could have dangerous consequences.

Tip: Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. There should be a sticker inside the socket that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb to use.

When to call an electrician:  Be sure to call a pro if you have a broken or shorted light socket, especially if the light bulb breaks and gets disconnected from the screw thread. You should also call an electrician if you experience flickering or dimming lights (unless it is from a storm that causes a quick flash).

Water & Electricity

Fuse box in a shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to hire a licensed electrician because situations like these can be shockingly dangerous. It does not take a genius to figure out that electricity and water don’t mix.

Tip: Don’t use appliances such as hair tools while the sink is running. Also when you take a shower keep in mind that humidity builds up in the air, so it’s best not to leave items plugged in. Wait until the humidity has left the bathroom before you plug in and use things like your blow dryer.

When to call an electrician: We doubt if you were inspect your home that you would find a situation like the above picture, but we suggest going through your home to look for any electrical outlets that are located next to a water source.  For example, in some homes you may have an electrical plug next to the sink in your kitchen or bathroom. Depending on how close it is, you may want to have a pro come close it and move it for you.

Faulty Outlets

Cord connected to a no outlet sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faulty outlets can cause fires or injury if they are not repaired quickly.

Tip: Unplug any appliance that emits sparks or does not work properly. When unplugging a device, the proper way is to pull by the plastic housing of the electrical plug in order to safely take it out of the wall socket. Never pull it by the cord.

When to call an electrician:  If you see sparks or smoke coming from an outlet you should call a pro immediately.  If you see a discolored or warm electrical outlet around your home, take this seriously because this could lead to a house fire.

Wires

Tangled wires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wires can become damaged over time, especially if they get crossed like in the above photo. You should keep an eye on the condition of wires and cords on your appliances as time progresses.

Tip: Inspect the wires around your home for any damage, especially on appliances. If you see any small tears in the wires, make sure they are unplugged from the outlet and cover the cord with electrical tape.  If the tear is on an extension cord, these will not repair well; throw them away.

When to call an electrician:  Contact a pro if you notice tripping circuit breakers or frequent fuses blowing– there is a chance you could have faulty wiring. If you notice there is cord damage on a pricier item like your washer/dryer call your electrician to see if it can be repaired.

Appliances

Electrical outlets expressions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your electrical appliances could get too heated if you plug more than one into a single outlet. Plus, your outlets can only take so much before their feeling are hurt and they blow up.

Tip: Make sure your major appliances are plugged into a wall outlet and that you are not using extension cords or plug strips. Only plug one heat producing appliance in at one time (ex. coffee maker, toaster etc.).

When to call an electrician:  If you smell an unusual scent coming from an appliance be sure to call your electrician so they can come and inspect it for you.

If you have questions about electrical safety or you think you need an electrical inspection, we’d be happy to help.