Your home is where you should feel safe no matter what’s happening with the rest of the world. One of the scariest things that can happen to your home is a fire, especially if it gets out of control quickly. Electrical issues are among the top reasons for house fires. It’s important to understand there’s an issue and get it taken as soon as possible. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent these fires such as replacing, recognizing there’s an issue, and more. Here are some of the most important signs to look out for.

Use Extension Cords Temporarily: Extension cords are not meant to replace your outlets in your home for extended use. They are a temporary solution and should be unplugged regularly. Instead, have more outlets installed in the room or area where you know you need them the most.

Leave The 3rd Prong Alone: Some appliances have three prongs that need to get plugged in. Unfortunately, when some homes are built the outlets are two-pronged spaces. Some people have been known to remove the bottom prong, or the “ground,” of the cord so they can plug it in. It’s there to prevent a surge of electricity or other electrical malfunctions that might happen. Without that prong, the risk of fire increases. A professional electrician will be able to change out the outlets.

extension cord

Avoid Using Damaged Cords: Are there cracks, frayed edges, or wires sticking out of the cord? Do NOT try to plug in that cord. You run the risk of sparking or “arching” if something touches the exposed wires. Depending on what cord is for you have the cord itself replaced or replace the entire unit.

Update The Main Electrical System: With the electric heavy time we live in, the main panel and electrical system for the house take on a lot. Whether it’s due to age or you’re noticing inconsistencies with output, it might be time to upgrade the system.

Don’t Ignore The Signs: There are several signs that you might notice indicating an issue with the electrical. Even one could mean a problem is brewing and you need to take it seriously. Some of those signs would be:

  • Burn marks or discoloration around fixtures, switches, or outlets
  • The area is hot to the touch whether it’s the cord, the outlet, or the appliance itself
  • There’s a burning smell
  • You feel a shock when you plug or unplug a cord
  • The lights flicker or seem dim
  • There’s a vibrating sound by the outlets or switches
  • The fuse box or breaker box is tripping often