Hidden Electrical Hazards An Emergency Electrician Looks For, And Ones You Can Find Yourself | Wilmington, NC

Hidden Electrical Hazards An Emergency Electrician Looks For, And Ones You Can Find Yourself | Wilmington, NC

Photo By John Brueske at Shutterstock

When we answer the call for an emergency electrician, we’re looking for specific electrical problems that have resulted in urgent problems. This includes loss of power, electrical irregularities, and dangerous situations involving fire hazards, shock hazards, or related symptoms such as smoke and acrid smells or sparks. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC, our electricians can perform electrical safety inspections to identify potential hazards before they become reasons for an emergency electrician visit and keep your family from having to face the potential risks and losses that electrical shock and fire can cause. Your electrical wiring and fixtures are not the only sources of hazards, though, and your family can help protect itself by identifying electrical dangers that are present or developing in your home.

Many Electrical Dangers Are Hidden, with Professional Skill and Experience Your Best Protection

An expert inspection of your electrical service and wiring can identify issues of concern that you might not expect, and help you avoid the need for an emergency electrician call. Even if you have a newer circuit breaker panel rather than an old fuse box, problems have been identified with certain types of panels and breakers that should be addressed. Aluminum wiring was also considered a reasonable thing years ago when copper was scarce, but complications have led to the replacement of aluminum wires or special techniques when connecting them to newer copper wiring and modern fixtures and outlets. You aren’t expected to know all this, of course, but making sure that your home is under the care of a professional electrician can help protect you.

Older wiring in homes approaching a century in age is often past its safe service life. Emergency electricians responding to concerns about home wiring sometimes discover outdated wire that even has a cloth covering instead of modern plastic, and outlets that have none of the required modern features. Work performed to outdated standards or no standards at all over the life of your home can leave risky connections and wiring that you won’t see without looking behind the walls or inside the junction boxes. If there have been water leaks, your power connections could be corroded and no longer clean and safe. Corrosion, damaged wires, and poor connections can heat up and eventually cause a fire risk, requiring an emergency electrician visit.

Your Role in Detecting Older Wiring and Other Concerns

Wiring issues and electrical concerns can be present even in newly built homes. It pays to stay aware of things that don’t seem right about your home’s electrical wiring and service, including smoke coming from outlets or light fixtures, sparks or the sound of sparking, warm wires, outlets, or plugs that you happen to notice, and smells that have that acrid scent that you may associate with electrical problems from the past. If you identify possible problems, investigating them further such as touching to see if an outlet is warm can actually be risky for you, and it’s worth having an emergency electrician look into the situation. If you’re not familiar with protective actions such as shutting off a circuit, you can also ask our electricians to show you the ways that homeowners can help prevent electrical problems from getting worse before the emergency electrician appears, without putting themselves at risk.

What About These Electrical Symptoms in Your Own Gear?

Not all electrical problems are hidden in the walls, electrical service panels, and junction boxes of your home. You can protect yourself by watching for the same symptoms of smells, smoke, sparks, and overheating in your appliances and their cords, your extension cords and power strips, and other items that you plug into the wall or install in lighting fixtures. Wear and damage to your electrical equipment and cords can result in the same kinds of issues that require an emergency electrician call for your home’s wiring. In many cases, you can unplug and replace them to solve the problem before they advance to dangerous heating and shock risks, but the key is identifying them in the first place.

Over Time, Simple Wear Can Cause Electrical Problems

Many problems occur due to simple mechanical wear, with exposed wires and damage where the wire enters a plug, for example, or from cuts, wheels rolling across, and stretching of electrical cords and extension cords. Taking a little time to inspect your wires and make sure that they’re not exposed to damage such as extension cords routed across walkways can help a lot. Making sure that you’re not overloading extension cords or using them as long-term wiring can protect you as well. Running two high-wattage devices through an extension cord such as a hairdryer and space heater is an example of how heating and fire risks can arise. If you’re unsure about how you’re using your power, ask us to offer suggestions and perhaps help by installing additional outlets and circuits.

Noticing Damage and Issues With Your Home’s Outlets and Fixtures

Have you noticed broken plastic in your power outlets, loose plugs when you use them, or sparks when you insert or remove the plugs? If your outlets aren’t in top shape, they should be replaced to avoid risks. If your outlets don’t have ground connections, that’s worth considering also, and having our electricians review your wiring and update it for modern safety. What about GFCI outlets and other protective gear? Your kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture can increase shock risk for those using electrical items should have these devices, which detect unusual stray current and interrupt the circuit in case it represents a danger to someone.

Your Expert Emergency Electrician and General Electrical Service Provider in Wilmington, NC

If you have concerns about your electrical wiring or other power issues, we’re the ones to count on. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington we provide electrical inspections, installation of new wiring and equipment, and power, network, audiovisual, and security wiring. Call us for information and service.