Each year, there are hundreds of residential electrical fires across Australia that leave households with expensive repair and even hospital bills. Don’t let your household be one of them – outdated, damaged or poorly installed electrical wiring is not something to be taken lightly. Keep your senses alert for the following warning signs of potentially faulty wiring:
1. Circuit Breaker Trips
It’s actually pretty common for your circuit breaker to trip – that’s what they’re designed to do (shut off your power whenever the system is overloaded). In most cases, you should be able to just switch it back on and continue with your day. If your circuit breaker trips frequently, however, it could be a sign of a deeper problem.
2. Look & Listen for Flickering, Buzzing or Dimming Lights
Just because your circuit breaker hasn’t tripped doesn’t mean that there isn’t an issue – another symptom of outdated or damaged wiring is lights that flicker, buzz or dim. If your lights buzz when you turn them on or flicker/dim when using multiple appliances, this could be a sign that your home’s in need of a bit of an upgrade.
3. Look for Frayed or Chewed Wiring
This sort of damage is usually caused by rodents, pets and amateur handymen. Frayed or chewed electrical wiring can be a serious shock and fire hazard, so should be rectified as quickly as possible. Even if you just suspect that such a problem is present, you should contact an electrician and request that they come out quickly.
4. Look for Discolouration, Scorching & Smoke
Keep an eye on your home’s power outlets – if you notice any discolouration or scorch marks, it’s a pretty good sign that the wiring is damaged and releasing heat. As you can see, the heat is already damaging your home and has the potential to do much worse (such as cause an electrical fire) if left unchecked.
5. Feel for Warm or Vibrating Power Outlets
One way to check for damage in your electrical wiring is to, believe it or not, feel for it. Without touching any wiring directly, feel your power outlets for heat or vibrations. Whether you discover that one or even both issues are present, you should contact an electrician and request that they come out quickly to conduct an inspection.
6. Smell for Burning & Other Odd Odours
Another way to check for damage is to literally sniff it out. If you notice any burning, smoky or other odd odours around power outlets or your electrical panel, you need to take action immediately. Burning smells could mean that fire damage has already begun and, if this is the case, you need to get an electrician out there straight away.
If you notice any of the above warning signs around your home, ensure that you contact an electrician as soon as possible. Do not attempt to fix or tinker with the electrical wiring yourself, as this could lead to even further damage or (as a worst case scenario) a deadly accident. Smillie Electrical offers a 24/7 emergency electrician service to ensure that your home is kept safe.