Faulty electrical outlets are among the leading causes of residential fires. According to a report released by the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA), 16% of civilian deaths were due to electrical distribution and lighting equipment from 2010 to 2014. Moreover, faulty outlets contribute to at least 25,000 electrical fires annually. Needless to say, the importance of maintaining your home outlets cannot be emphasized enough. That is why we have come up with the following tips.
1. Test Outlets on a Regular Basis
Testing outlets regularly can help you notice any issues early enough and have a professional electrician fix them. Well, the best way to test if all outlets at home are working perfectly is to use an electrical receptacle tester. This inexpensive yet handy gadget comes in different types, with each having a different kind of receptacle.
Furthermore, electrical receptacle testers or simply outlet testers are extremely easy to use. All you need to do is plug them into an outlet, and they will automatically show whether there is a potential problem. Checking your outlets regularly can help you spot minor issues that can later turn into major ones.
2. Call an Electrician to Replace All Damaged Wiring
Although outlet testers are not always 100% accurate, they are still worth having because, as said earlier, they can help you spot problems early enough. That being said, if your outlet tester indicates that your outlet would do with a repair, then it is time to investigate the matter further.
You may need to replace the outlet wires to get everything functioning back normally. Although this is often not complicated, you should not take matters into your own hands. Instead, consider contacting a qualified electrician to help with this. Because of such dangers as fire hazards and electrocution, electrical repairs are best left to experts.
3. Check the Conditions of All Electrical Plates at Home
There is no commercial testing device for electrical plates. However, this does not mean you forget to check them when carrying out maintenance on your home outlets. Electrical plates, including light switches, can be dangerous when not in good condition. Therefore, make sure you check each of them as well. And by each of them, we mean you need to check light switches and other electrical plates in such hidden places as the attic and basement.
Check whether they are discolored, cracked, or have burn marks. Discolored and/or cracked electrical plates are simply old and need to be replaced. However, burn marks on electrical plates may be a sign of a more ominous problem. Therefore, if this is the case, then you may want to seek the services of an experienced electrician. What’s more, if you notice burn marks on your electrical plates, make sure you alert your local electrician immediately.
Unlike plumbing and HVAC maintenance, maintaining your home outlets can help prevent potential fire hazards. That is why it is advisable that you do it at least once every month, especially if living in an older home. If you are a resident of Boise, ID, call Sublime Electric today to help you with general electrical services.