Angie's How To Be Aware of These 5 Electrical Dangers

Date Published: Nov. 12, 2019

Time: 15 Minutes

Fifty-three percent of residential fires involve electrical wiring, which is intricately hidden behind the faceplates on your light switches. Flying sparks are obvious, but lots of other electrical danger signs are more subtle. Keeping an eye out for these five warning signs can mean the difference between fire prevention and a fiery disaster.


If your extension cord has loose ends, or you've bandaged an extension cord with electrical tape, it's time to replace it. Damaged cords may have exposed live wires that lead to shock and fire hazards.


A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI) is an outlet typically located in kitchens and bathrooms – often within six feet of a water source – that prevents people from being electrocuted. These outlets immediately stop the flow of electricity (and –trip") when they sense the slightest change in the current. If your GFI starts tripping repeatedly, you probably have an electrical problem or a worn-out GFI outlet receptacle. Contact an electrician to inspect the problem.


If your ceiling fan isn't rotating evenly, your device either isn't correctly mounted to the electrical box, your blades are unbalanced or your blades are warped. We recommend always calling an electrician to fix damaged wires and electrical boxes.


Using a bulb that has a higher wattage than recommended is a fire hazard and may overheat the light fixture. If you're dealing with a fixture with multiple bulbs or a strand of lights, check all of the bulbs individually and replace them as needed. Be consistent with the bulbs' wattage in this situation.


If your faceplate is warm to the touch, you probably have an oversized electrical load operating on that unit. Monitor any warm faceplate you find. If the problem persists, or the faceplate becomes hot to the touch, call an electrician.


Note: The exception to this rule is a dimmer switch. Unless it's too hot to touch, it's okay.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 6 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!