It’s a standing joke that the only way to get all the members of a household together in one room these days is to have a power cut. Without televisions, internet, lights and power, we suddenly realise how much we rely on an uninterrupted electrical supply.
But it although can take a crisis to recognise the value of a reliable electrical supply, it is a good idea to act against preventable problems that can be dangerous as well as inconvenient. A power cut is the least dangerous of the problems you could be facing if your electrical system needs repair.
Department of Commerce figures show that in the last 10 years almost 14,000 electric shocks requiring medical treatment have been reported in Western Australia, mostly occurring in the home, and 22 people have lost their lives.
Electrical fires can be devastating and hard to contain, and the trend to putting home appliances on standby instead of switching them off has put extra strain on wiring.
Keep Up to Date
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. Running cords under rugs is another cause of electrical fires.
If your house needs several multi-outlet extenders, and power bars you could be overloading your system and should consider having your home rewired.
Watch for The Warning Signs
There are other signs that your electrics are faulty or overloaded and in need of repair. You should watch out for:
- Flickering lights: If your lights flicker at times of high electrical consumption, your electrical circuits are struggling to cope. You should call an electrician to test it and advise on a solution.
- Sparking outlets: These are a serious warning sign. Although it is possible for an occasional spark to appear without further problems, more often there is an underlying issue that needs to be fixed straight away. Immediately unplug all appliances and switch the outlet off. Call a professional electrician, who will be able to identify the problem and replace the outlet if necessary. If the outlet is very old, they might recommend that you replace all your electrical outlets.
- Tripped circuit breakers: An overloaded circuit is the most common reason for a circuit breaker tripping. When too many appliances or light fixtures are operating at the same time, the circuit wires heat up. This is a sign that you need your electrics updated. A short circuit is a more serious reason for a breaker tripping. It is caused when the hot wire touches another hot wire or touches a neutral wire, or meets a metal wall box or touches wood framing. In either case you need to call an electrician to fix the problem.
- Burning smell: Be aware of any unusual burning smells in the home that you can’t account for. This could be a sign that your wiring is overheating. Call Fire and Rescue immediately if you smell burning that cannot be explained. They will have equipment such as thermal imaging cameras which will accurately detect objects that are overheating.
For peace of mind over any electrical issue, call North Coast Auto and Marine Electric for advice. We’ve been servicing Perth and the surrounding areas for nearly 40 years pride ourselves in keeping your property safe and reliable.