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Provident Electric Corrects Electrical Hazards in the Home

Electrical fires cause around $1.3 billion in property damages to homeowners each year. The electricians at Provident Electric can assist you in identifying electrical hazards in your Frederick, MD, home. A thorough electrical inspection can help protect your property from significant damage and your family from injury. Our skilled and certified team of electricians has helped protect homes throughout Frederick, Mt. Airy, Germantown, Westminster, and Middletown, MD. We take the time to identify some of the most common residential electrical hazards and provide solutions on how to correct the issues. So, our team can assist you if you’re preparing to complete some electrical work or just want to ensure your home is safe. Learn more about the most common electrical hazards.

Incorrect Bulb Installation

Replacing a lightbulb is one of the most common electrical tasks homeowners complete. While it is straightforward to replace a lightbulb, it doesn’t mean there are no inherent risks. Whether you’re replacing a bulb in recessed lighting or a side table lamp, you should consider the following:

  • Proper Wattage – It’s important to ensure the lightbulb wattage is equal to or less than the wattage of your fixture. If the wattage amount is incompatible, you risk the bulb overheating, leading to an electrical fire or shock. The maximum wattage the bulb can handle should be clearly labeled on the package.
  • Clear the Area – Lightbulbs are capable of heating up when left on for long periods of time. When flammable materials such as bedding, curtains, or drapes come into contact with a lightbulb, it can lead to a fire.

Extension Cord Usage

Homeowners who don’t have enough outlets in a room or the outlets are in an inconvenient location may resort to extension cords to make their home more functional. However, extension cords are designed to be a short-term solution to delivering power to isolated areas. There are numerous reasons why extension cords are unsafe for permanent use throughout the home:

  • Increase Connections – There is only one connection when a device is plugged directly into a wall outlet. However, using an extension cord doubles the number of connections, creating a higher risk of damage if failure occurs.
  • Overheated Quickly – Permanent extension cord usage in the home is unsightly, and many homeowners may attempt to hide them under rugs or behind the couch. The increased insulation can cause the cord to heat up quickly.
  • Susceptible to Damage – If your extension cord is in a high-traffic area, it becomes more vulnerable to damage from foot traffic and animals chewing on it, among other things.

Your Children

Thousands of young children sustain injuries from sticking an object in an electrical outlet every year. Whether you have a child or you’re expecting one to visit your home, you can help protect them by installing plastic covers. Outlet plugs are affordable and easy to place. Installing one in every unused outlet within reach of a toddler can help protect them from injury and even save their life.

Outlets Installed Near Water

Local electrical codes outline the recommended distance outlets that can be installed near water sources such as the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and other areas of the home where water may be present. Water conducts electricity, and if it comes into contact with the outlet or a device plugged into the wall, it can lead to an electrical fire. Our team of electricians can install GFCI outlets in specific areas of your home to protect you from electrical fires caused by water. GFCI outlets have an internal fuse that switches off when the outlet detects a power surge protecting you, your home, and your family.

Old Wiring System

If you own an older home, there’s a chance the wiring system may be outdated. An old or damaged wiring system is more likely to lead to significant injury or damage due to electrocution or a house fire. Replacing your antiquated wiring system to ensure it complies with local electrical codes is the easiest way to protect your home. Our electricians have experience replacing some of the most prevalent wiring systems used throughout the decades, including the following:

  • Knob and Tube Wiring
  • Aluminum Electrical Wiring
  • Fabric Insulation Wiring
  • Copper Electrical Conductors
  • Fuse Boxes

Overloaded Outlets

Every outlet can produce a specific amount of wattage to power your devices. If you have numerous devices that each require their own plug, you may be tempted to use a wall tap to increase the number of sockets available. However, cascading them on your outlet can cause the area to heat up, creating a fire and shock hazard. A surge protector is much safer because it will turn off power to the devices if it detects an issue. Another solution is to hire an electrician to install additional outlets in the area.

What are the Common Signs of an Electrical Hazard?

Electrical systems degrade over time. What was once considered safe may quickly become dangerous. As a homeowner, it’s essential to be aware of some of the most common electrical hazards throughout your home. The knowledgeable and trained electricians at Provident Electric have the skills, experience, and proper tools to repair, replace, or install a new electrical system throughout your home. If you notice any of the common signs of an electrical hazard in your home, contact our team:

  • Heat Emanating – Even when electronic devices are used for extended periods of time, the outlet they are plugged into should never produce heat. If an outlet is hot to the touch, then you should unplug the device immediately. If the outlet continues to emanate heat, we recommend flipping the breaker switch and contacting our electricians immediately.
  • Tripped Circuit Breakers – Your home’s circuit breaker is designed with a failsafe. If too much power is being drawn to a specific breaker, it will trip and turn off. However, if you’re constantly encountering tripped breakers, it’s time to have it inspected by an electrician.
  • Flickering or Dimming Lights – Do the lights in your kitchen flicker when you turn on the dishwasher? When lights dim or flicker, it may be a sign not enough power is reaching them. It’s more than just an annoyance. It can lead to a fire hazard in your home.
  • Burning Smell – Your electrical system carries high voltage throughout the wires. If you notice a burning smell whenever you flip on a switch or plug a device into an outlet, it’s likely due to overheating. Do not use the switch or outlet until an electrician inspects it.
  • Humming Noise – Loose connections are the primary cause of humming noises originating from outlets, sockets, and devices. The humming noise itself is not dangerous. However, the threat of a loose connection is always cause for concern.
  • Sparks – Overload, warn components, and poor connection can cause sparks to occur when you plug something into the outlet. The situation will only worsen unless the outlet is repaired or replaced, leading to an eventual electrical fire.

What Should I Do if I Notice an Electrical Fire Hazard?

Unfortunately, sometimes, electrical hazards can occur without any warning. However, as a homeowner, you must know how to mitigate the effects and prevent them from leading to more significant issues. Our team of electricians is prepared to assist you when you need us most. If you notice any problems with your electrical wiring system, follow the steps below to prevent injury and damage to your home:

  • Turn Off Power
  • Use A Fire Extinguisher
  • Call An Electrician

Trust Us to Repair Electrical Hazards in the Home

Since 2002, homeowners throughout Frederick, Mt. Airy, Germantown, Westminster, and Middletown, MD, have trusted Provident Electric to help them identify and repair electrical hazards in their homes. Electrical fires are devastating. Our goal is to provide our community members with the information and knowledge they need to identify the source of the issues and take precautionary steps to resolve them. You can always count on our electricians to be there when you need us most. We offer comprehensive residential services. Our local electricians are on call 24/7 for all your emergency electrical needs. Let us help protect your home and family. Speak to an electrician and schedule your service today.