Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends that homeowners have their homes electrically inspected, particularly if:
- The home is 40 or more years old
- The home is 10 or more years old and has had major renovation, an addition, or major new appliance installed
- New owner of a previously owned home
The following are some of the signs of home wiring electrical hazards:
- Power outages—circuit breakers that frequently trip or fuses that often need replacement
Dim and/or flickering lights
- Arcs and sparks—flashes of light or shower of sparks anywhere in your electrical system
- Sizzles and buzzes—unusual sounds from your electrical system
- Overheating—overheated wires can give off an odor of hot insulation; switch plates or receptacle covers are hot to the touch or discolored from heat buildup
- Electrical shocks—any shock, even a mild tingle, may be warning of an electrical danger
- Overrated panel—electrical panels with fuses or circuit breakers rated at higher currents than the capacity of their branch circuits.
- Damaged wire insulation—cut, broken or cracked insulation
- If you observe any of these signs in your home, call in a licensed electrician to inspect its wiring.