Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Home

It is frightening to think that there may be an electrical issue occurring within the walls of your home that could result in an electrical fire. If you are concerned that your home’s electrical system needs attention, it may be time to consult your licensed electrician serving Columbus. Read on to learn a few of the safety measures that you and your electrician can take to keep your home safe. electrician fixing wall wire

Replace Old Wiring

Old wiring is one of the top causes of residential electrical fires. If you live in an older home, you may wish to consider updating your wiring as a precaution against a dangerous fire. Electrical wiring is generally meant to last only 30-40 years, so if your home was built before that, have a licensed electrician perform a wiring inspection. Additionally, aluminum wiring, which was used in the 1960s and 1970s, can present a danger because of its tendency to oxidize and corrode. If you have aluminum wiring in your home, ask your electrician to check for signs that it needs to be replaced or repaired.

Detect Arc Faults

Arc Faults happen when your home’s electrical wiring system is compromised, causing electrical current to flow outside of its intended path. The resulting electrical discharge produces heat, which damages wiring and can cause home fires. A sharp object puncturing your home’s wiring during construction or renovation, corrosion of wiring, or improper initial installation of wiring can cause arc faults. Your electrical system should include arc-fault circuit interrupters to detect arc faults and power off your system if necessary. If you live in an older home without AFCIs, have your electrician perform this upgrade.

Use a Licensed Electrician

A very simple method of preventing electrical fires in your home is to have all work done by a licensed electrician using quality products. Electrical work can be very complicated for someone without experience, and mistakes are bound to happen. Small errors in installation of electrical components can lead to major problems including fires in your home. Always check that the electrician you hire is reputable, experienced, and licensed.

Spotting Potential Electrical Hazards

If you know what to look for, you can recognize the symptoms of an electrical issue before it becomes a major problem. If you notice any indicators of a potential hazard, it is best to call your residential electrician near Columbus right away. Watch this video for tips on what to look for to identify a problem with your home’s electrical system.

Telltale signs that you should call your electrician are flickering lights, loose outlets, or a hot circuit breaker. Do-it-yourself electrical work is often to blame for electrical issues. Well-intentioned homeowners may loosen electrical connections or expose wires while attempting to perform tasks such as replacing a light fixture or ceiling fan. Rather than risk an electrical fire, call your electrician to perform all electrical work.

Does Your Home Have Electrical Problems?

Electrical issues can cause major damage to your home. Fortunately, your residential electrician near Columbus can solve these issues before they become serious problems. Read on to learn about a few common electrical problems, and be sure to call your electrician immediately if you suspect that your home may be in need of electrical repair. An electrician fixing bulb

Burning Smell

A burning smell coming from electrical outlets, switches, or inside your home’s walls is a serious warning sign of electrical problems that should not be ignored. This odor could be indicative of various electrical issues ranging from a wiring problem to an overload. If you observe this smoky or burning smell, turn off your power at the electrical panel and immediately call your electrician.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights may not seem like a big deal, but they could indicate a greater problem within your home’s electrical system. If just one bulb is flickering, try replacing it to solve the problem. If this works, your problem was most likely a failing bulb. However, it is best to keep your eye on the light fixture that was having the issue to ensure that it does not have an underlying problem that is causing bulbs to fail. If your lights continue to flicker even after you have replaced bulbs, call your electrician. There are numerous other issues that can cause flickering lights such as loose wiring connections or faulty connections in your circuit breaker.

Light Switches and Electrical Outlets Malfunctioning

A light switch or electrical outlet that does not work properly is another sign of a potential electrical problem within your home. Loose wiring and connections often result in an interruption of power being distributed throughout your house. Similarly, never touch an electrical outlet that has fallen out of its socket in the wall; exposed wires and casing could give you a dangerous shock. If you have an outlet or switch that has stopped working, only works occasionally, or has fallen out of the wall, have your electrician out to get to the root of the problem.

What to Look For in an Electrician

If you are currently looking for an electrician to do work at your home, you should take your time while searching around and make every effort to find the best candidate. There are plenty of electrical contractors serving Columbus, but which one is the right one for your specific job? Check out some of the factors that you should keep in mind while looking for an electrician below. Electrician

Education

Every three years, the National Electrical Code is amended to include new information that all electricians should know. Unfortunately, not all electrical companies require their employees to stay up on the latest electrical developments. As a result, you might end up hiring someone who doesn’t know the newest techniques for fixing electrical issues. You should speak with an electrician about their education before you decide to hire him or her.

Experience

If you only need a few electrical boxes added throughout your home or you have another small job for an electrician, you probably don’t need someone with 30 years of electrical experience. However, if you need to hire someone to rewire your whole home or you have another large job in mind, it’s important for you to hire someone who has years of experience in the field. They should be prepared to tackle any issue that could arise while working in your home.

Licenses and Insurance

Before you settle on an electrician, ask to see all of their licenses as well as proof of insurance. If you hire an electrician that is not licensed or insured and something goes wrong on the job site, you could run into a lot of trouble later. A good electrician will be more than willing to provide you with a license number and an insurance card.

References

Still not convinced that an electrician is right for you? Ask him or her for a list of recent references and then call those references to inquire about their experiences with the electrician. They will give you a better sense of what to expect if you ultimately decide to hire that person.

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

The gray electrical panel located inside of your home might not look flashy, but it’s one of the most important parts of your house. It’s responsible for bringing electricity into your residence and routing it to the areas it’s needed most. If you haven’t upgraded your electrical panel in a long time, you should consider having an electrician come and do it for you. By having a residential electrician near Columbus do this, you can ensure that your home is safe as far as electricity is concerned. Here are signs that will tell you it’s time to upgrade. Electrical panel

Your home’s electrical panel is old.

Once upon a time, a 60 amp electrical panel provided more than enough electricity for a home. These days, a 60 amp electrical panel won’t get the job done and, in most cases, a 100 amp electrical panel won’t be sufficient, either. Unless you have a very small home that doesn’t use a lot of electricity, an electrician will usually recommend a 200 amp electrical panel to handle all of the electrical demands people have in 2016.

Your home’s electrical panel still uses fuses instead of circuit breakers.

Fuses are just as safe as circuit breakers are, however, when fuses have been tripped, they need to be replaced entirely as opposed to just reset like circuit breakers. As a result of this, many homeowners cut corners in the past and used the wrong fuses to turn their electricity back on. A licensed electrician can check your electrical panel to see if the fuses inside of it are the right ones. But do you really want to have to go through the hassle of finding new fuses every time you trip an old one?

Your home’s electrical panel was made by Federal Pacific.

At one time, about 90 percent of all electrical panels were manufactured by Federal Pacific. Many of these panels were found to be defective, though, so the brand is no longer trusted. If you have one in your home, you should replace it to avoid running into electrical problems later.