Short circuits are a major type of electrical accident that can cause serious damage to your electrical system. They occur when a low-resistance path not suited to carry electricity receives a high-volume electrical current. In simpler terms, short circuits happen when hot wire touches a conductive object it’s not supposed to.
The result of a short circuit can be appliance damage, electrical shock, or even a fire. And if you’re not taking any preventative measures against short circuits, you’re only increasing the risk of these situations happening. Roman Electric advises every Milwaukee homeowner to practice ways to prevent short circuits, and we have listed 5 of these steps below.
1. Check Outlets Before Use
Behind every outlet is a box with attached wires. And some of the major causes of a short circuit are faulty wiring, loose box connections, and an aging outlet. Although diagnosing these issues can be difficult, considering they’re hidden behind your walls, you can still help prevent short circuits by examining your outlets before each use. There are certain signs that indicate your outlet may be at risk of a short circuit:
- Outlet has burn marks or burning smell.
- Buzzing or popping sound coming from outlet.
- Sparks emitting from outlet.
- Outlet is over 15-25 years old.
If any of these signs apply, refrain from using the outlet and contact Roman Electric immediately.
2. Check Appliances Before Use
Just like outlets, you’ll want to check your appliances before plugging them in as well. Short circuits can also be caused by faulty wiring or circuitry from the appliance itself. Before every use, check appliances for these signs:
- Damaged cords, casing, or wire.
- Several cracks in the appliance.
- Appliance has exposed circuitry.
If any of these signs apply, we recommend either disposing of or having a professional repair your appliance.
3. Reduce Electrical Usage During Storms
One of the most dangerous ways a short circuit can happen is by a lightning strike, as the overwhelming amount of electricity can lead to some serious damage. We recommend reducing your electrical usage during a lighting storm to only the necessities. Not only will this help prevent short circuits from happening during a storm – this also helps lessen the damage if a power surge occurs.
4. Perform Basic Circuit Breaker Maintenance
Your electrical system does have protection against short circuits – which are its circuit breakers. These components located in your electrical panel shut off when electrical currents are deemed unstable, with each of them being tied to a different circuit. We recommend you practice some basic circuit breaker maintenance to help ensure their function. We have provided a few tips below:
- Check each circuit breaker for any damages, cracks, or loose fittings.
- Know what circuit each breaker controls. We recommend using a circuit breaker finder. More info can be found here.
- Clean any dirt stains or spots located on the breaker and panel (only use a dry cloth for this).
If you would like to better maintain your circuit breakers using professional services, contact Roman Electric for our circuit breaker services.
5. Schedule an Electrical Inspection at Least Once a Year
Much like a doctor’s appointment, electrical inspections should be done at least once a year. This allows an electrical professional such as Roman Electric to fully examine your electrical system. From there, we can pinpoint and prevent short circuits from occurring, as well as provide cost-effective solutions to resolve any other issue we find. Electrical inspections help better maintain your wiring, outlets, and every other part of your electrical system. Schedule one today!
Do what’s best for your electrical system by practicing these ways to prevent short circuits. And contact Roman Electric for our circuit breaker and electrical inspection services. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to speak with Milwaukee’s leading electrical experts.