For most homeowners, the place “where their heart is” and “where they hang their hat” is also their biggest investment. The emotional, financial, and other implications of losing a home to fire can be devastating. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 369,500 fires in home structures in 2013. Electrical fires are far too common, with 47,700 home structure fires in 2011 involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
What can a homeowner do? There are fairly simple steps that you can take to improve the electrical safety in your home. For example, you should never overload outlets and you should keep an eye on your electrical cords and appliance for signs of wear and tear.
Still, it is wise to consult an expert, especially if your house is a bit older. About one out of three American homes is over 50 years old, according to This Old House. If you think about how many appliances were used at the time your house was built compared to how many high tech devices you currently have plugged in, you’ll realize that updates could definitely be in order. Certainly, 50 years ago, no one even imagined a need for three or four phones, a big-screen plasma TV, or even a car!
Also, consider the number of DIY projects that have been done to your home over the years, such as remodels or additions. Permit requirements and codes have changed a great deal, so the individuals who wired your family room 30 years ago may not have followed current safety needs.
We don’t wish to alarm you, but even if everything seems to be running smoothly, there could be problems. In fact, if you’ve lived in your house for a while, you may dismiss the subtle signs of electrical problems, such as outlets or light switches that do not work all the time, flickering lights, fixtures that are hot (check for proper wattage first), and frequent tripping of circuit breakers. More obvious signs include mild electrical shocks and burning odors or sparks; these require immediate attention. If your home was built between 1950 and 1990, you should check to see if your breakers were manufactured by Federal Pacific, as some of their breakers are not considered safe.
Now that you know how to determine if you might need professional help, we have good news about where you can find it! You know that Branham Electric provides expert installation and service on large construction projects, as well as regular service, emergency service, and more for businesses. You may not know that we provide the same services for your home! What’s more, because of our specialized training, our highly-qualified professionals can often determine the problem more quickly and solve it more efficiently than other companies in the field. This translates to big savings for our customers. If you think your home may be in need of electrical service, call us today to talk with a real person who will provide real help and connect your with an expert solution.