Man has moved into the digital age long before leaving the electrical age behind. Life without electricity is simply unbelievable in this age and time. But electricity is always a potential hazard. It may claim havoc for a moment’s lapse any time including our life, property and other priceless things on earth. In fact, thousands of domestic fires are reported every year across the UK that cause devastation ranging from minor to massive. Fortunately, or unfortunately the majority of such cases can be easily prevented with a little care and caution.
In order to protect your family and home from accidental fires all you need is devoting little time and effort at regular intervals. There is no need to hire a trained and qualified electrician for this. You can do this yourself but you must be little alert and cautious. In the following sections let us explore few situations that you may come across during inspection to make the task easier.
Cluttering of extension cords
Electric wires are placed inside walls not only for aesthetic reason alone. When placed inside a wall, the wiring remains grossly undisturbed and undisturbed wirings last for years together. On the other hand, a distributed or altered wiring is always a potential hazard. When you add up another extension cord it creates additional electrical points. The cord may short out, get pinched or kink at those additional points thus triggering a trip in circuit breakers or damaged outlets. In severe circumstances the situation may also lead to an electrical fire. Use extension cords as less as possible and for extremely limited time periods to avoid such accidents. If you need more outlets on regular basis always hire an electrician to install those.
Light fixtures consume very less electricity. The problems of flickering or dimming lights are usually found when major appliances or space heaters are connected to the same circuit. Just changing the fixture does not solve the problem. Appliances meant for either heating or cooling are known to consume a lot of power. Thus, the dimming could be the result of your washing machine drawing power to heat water. These problems are not be taken lightly. Consult a licensed electrician to do what is necessary, like shifting lines to different circuits or powering the major appliances through dedicated lines.
It is absolutely natural when brand new appliances give out a strange odour for the first few times when powered on. But if the odd smell comes out from an electrical outlet you cannot take that lightly. Immediately disconnect its power supply and unplug everything connected to it. Stay away from even touching it until and unless electrician diagnoses it. On the other hand, if you detect a strange smell coming from a fuse box or a breaker panel, summon an electrician right away.
Sparking is never a sign of good health for your home electric system. How you should deal with it depends on where the sparks are coming from. If it is coming from either a fuse box, breaker panel or an outlet, there is not much time to waste. Get a licensed electrician as soon as you can. However, if the sparks are coming from an appliance or gadget, the item is faulty. In that case you need an appliance repairer and not an electrician. The repairer examines the gadget as well as the electrical outlet that powers it. A service call from a trained repairer is in any case more reasonable than a licensed electrician. Moreover, if the appliance is still under warranty repairing it will be easier as well as more reasonable.
Electrical outlets or switch plates becoming hot
Appliances like toaster and space heater are meant to generate heat. But under normal condition the outlets that power those appliances should not become hot. A switch plate may become slightly warm by the effect of electric current. But under no circumstance the outlet or the switch plate should be alarmingly hot. If it is just plug it off and try out another outlet. If the same thing happens probably the appliance is faulty. Else the previous outlet has developed a problem. This type of electrical issues crop up from defective wiring. Do not neglect the issue. Call an electrician and get things sorted.
Breakers trip and fuses get blown frequently
In order to prevent overloading circuit breakers and fuses fail. That is the way these electrical devices are designed. When a circuit breaker repeatedly trips while powering a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner, it is most likely the appliance is defective. On the other hand, if a single outlet results in blowing the same fuse time and again, then chances are high that the circuit is getting overloaded. Consult a skilled and qualified electrician and get the problem resolved.
What is the sound of electricity? When everything is smooth it makes no sound. Under normal condition electric current neither makes any sound nor flows unevenly between terminals. But factors like fraying wire, loose prongs and others can make the current jump which creates a faint but steady buzzing sound. If you come across such situation from a particular just stop using it immediately and call an electrician.
Mistakenly wrong outlets in bathroom or kitchen
Water is a good conductor of electricity. On the other hand, a kitchen is not a kitchen or a bathroom is not a bathroom without water connections. And this is why both kitchens and bathrooms require GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters. These are basically specially designed outlets that resist electric shock. Each GFCI comes with a pair of tiny buttons placed at the centre. If the outlets in the kitchen and/or the bathroom look the same with those of rest of the house then wrong outlets have got installed by mistake. Swap those with GFCIs to include an additional layer of protection against electric shocks around water.
Qualified and skilled electrician in London share the tips above to keep your home safe.
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