According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), faulty electrical outlets are the third leading cause of home electrical fires. And also account for over a billion dollars in property damage, nearly 500 deaths, and some 1,4000 injuries each year. Most people don’t give a second thought to their electrical outlets, but when you take these shocking statistics into consideration. It is not surprising to see homeowners across the country taking proactive measures to minimize electrical fire hazards. Regularly inspecting your electrical outlets or receptacles is the first step. That is in catching a problem before it turns into something more serious. Let’s go over some key indicators that it’s time to replace your electrical outlets.
5 Signs That You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Outlets
Whether it be a two-pronged outlet, a three-pronged outlet, AFCI or GFCI, no matter the outlet, you still need to be mindful of the condition they are in. Here we will discuss what to keep an eye out for and when it is time to update your home’s electrical outlets to avoid potentially catastrophic damage to your property, or worst-case scenario, injury to you or a loved one.
- Two-Prong Outlets – Adopted in all 50 states, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes the most current National Electrical Code (NEC) guidelines so that builders and homeowners alike can keep their electrical systems up-to-date and operating safely.According to the NEC, all homes constructed after 1965 are required, by law, to have grounded three-prong outlets installed throughout the property. The reason being is that the older two-prong outlets are not grounded and are more at risk of causing electrical fires. If your home happens to have the old two-prong outlets of yesteryear it is absolutely time to call L-Train Electric and update your outlets to safer Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets (GFCI).
- Outlets Are Hot to the Touch. If the outlets are hot to the touch, it could be a sign that there are damaged or frayed wires leading to that outlet. This could present a serious electrical fire hazard. Find the circuit breaker that is assigned to that outlet and turn it to the off position.
- Outlets Are Discolored or Have Singe Marks on Them – This is a major cause for concern. A singed or discolored outlet or wall plate could mean that there are wires behind the outlet that have already shorted out, causing them to heat up to the point of burning the wiring. Or it could be a sign that the outlet wasn’t properly installed. In either case, you will need to contact L-Train Electric.
- Appliance Plugs Falling Out of Outlets or Are Loose. Loose outlets are not only an inconvenience, as they can make using your appliances a hassle. But they also can pose a real safety hazard as well. Loose connections may lead to electrical arcing. Electrical arcing is when an electrical current jumps a circuit or between two conductors. Liken it to a mini lightning bolt just freely darting from the outlet to the plug. As you can imagine that isn’t a good thing and can spark an electrical fire if not handled properly.
- Sparks, Smoke, Popping, or Sizzling – This one should be a no-brainer. If you see sparks or smoke coming from any of your outlets you should immediately cut power to that outlet. Follow the above precautions and call L-Train Electric.