Electrical failure or malfunction, according to the National Fire Protection Association, cause about 47,000 home fires in the United States. These result in thousands of injuries and death, as well as billions of damage to the property. Overloaded circuits or outlets are the main cause of fire, producing an excessive current through wires that would overheat and start fires.
Electrical testing equipment stores say it is possible to reduce risks of residential fires by not overloading the electrical systems. You may start by knowing the signs of an overloaded circuit.
Light fixtures only use a small amount of electricity, so the fixture itself is rarely the cause of flickering or bickering lights. This may be due to major energy hogs like large appliances wired in the same circuit. A water heater drawing electricity to other major appliance may cause dimming of the lights.
If you notice an odd smell like a burning odor coming from the outlet, disconnect anything plugged in it. It is best not to use the outlet again until someone check it out. It is also advisable to call an electrician if the fuse box produces a weird odor.
Sparks and Buzzes
Another warning sign is sparks from breaker, fuse box, or outlet. This may also happen in your appliance, but this may mean the fixture itself is damaged or not working properly. Cracking or buzzing sounds from receptacles also mean trouble.
It is normal for appliances to produce heat, but this should never happen to an electrical outlet. If you think that it is uncomfortably hot, plug off whatever is plugged in and try using another outlet. If the outlet is still hot without any appliance plugged in, it may have incorrect wiring.
Practice fire safety by never using extension cords for appliances. Keep in mind that major appliances like refrigerator should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. It also not advisable to rely heavily on extension cords to address your power needs.
Prevent electrical system overload using these tips. It is also best to learn basic knowledge about electrical testing and how it could help promote electrical safety.