Among the problems that can occur in a home, electrical problems are some of the worst. Not only are problems with your electrical system not something you can usually deal with on your own, they also can be a huge safety risk. Nearly 50,000 home fires in the U.S. each year involve some sort of electrical failure or malfunction, and they cause $1.5 billion in property damage. If you notice electrical problems in your home, it is best to call a licensed electrician to do an inspection.
One of the most common electrical problems in homes is faulty wiring. Wiring, just like anything else in your home, can wear out over time and need to be replaced. Also, as more and more electrical devices become commonplace and technology gets more and more advanced, it becomes harder for older wiring to handle the demands placed on it.
When looking at the biggest culprit of electrical-related fires in the home, wiring and associated equipment takes first place by a wide margin, with nearly two-thirds of all reported cases. Lighting is a distant second, causing 20% of fires, with cords and plugs accounting for another 11%. With lighting and cords, you often can see a problem, before something bad happens. With electrical wiring, you usually won’t be able to see a problem until it is too late.
If you want to be proactive and try to head off electrical problems, you can get a quote from an electrician about possibly upgrading your wiring. Signs that your wiring is not adequate include dimming of lights when you turn on other electrical appliances or when your furnace or air conditioner kick on, and frequent tripping of circuit breakers. A qualified electrician can do an inspection of your wiring system and make recommendations for upgrades.
Though residential electrical repairs and upgrades can be expensive, they may actually save you money in the long run by helping to improve your energy efficiency. And, of course, they also will improve the safety of your home by helping to prevent the number one cause of electrical fires — faulty wiring. Other precautions you can take include replacing frayed cords and sockets that appear to be damaged.