For many of us, our home office is practically our second bedroom. You spend countless hours here getting work done, so it can be easy to ignore pesky electrical problems that seem like the least of our worries. However, because we spend so much time in our office, it’s important that we stay on top of electrical work. That way, we can continue using it without any distractions or interruptions.
If that isn’t enough to push you, though, then you should know that ignoring electrical work can also put you and your family at risk. Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires, nearly 500 deaths, and more than 1,400 injuries per year.
At Arnold Electrical, we understand that it’s easy to get caught up in your work when in your home office. To make your life easier, we’ve prepared a quick list of potential hazards that could suggest your home office needs electrical work.
Dead or Warm Outlets
One of the most common signs of an electrical issue in any area is a dead outlet. It may seem harmless — just find another one for your charger or modem and problem solved, right? Nope. If any of the outlets in your office space refuses to turn on, even after resetting your circuit breaker, then you’re likely dealing with a more serious electrical issue.
Your outlets don’t need to go out completely to suggest that something is going on, either. If you’ve noticed that your outlets are warm to the touch, even after limiting it to only one appliance, then you may be dealing with loose or damaged wiring. Or it could mean a tripped Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Or your wiring just may be outdated and needs replacing.
The reasons for dead or warm outlets are difficult to pinpoint without professional help. So, while it might seem like a hassle to call an electrical technician to check it out, it’s worth the effort. Because all it takes is for one wire to spark and cause a fire.
Old or Flickering Lights
Have you spent nights working at your desk only to be distracted by flickering lights that won’t go away even after you’ve changed the bulbs? If so, you could be dealing with wiring issues. This is often the case for your older homes. If your home is more than 40 years old, then chances are, it has outdated wiring, electrical systems and devices.
However, after enough time, any home can be at risk of faulty wiring. Though hidden well behind our walls, wires experience wear and tear like any other aspect to our homes. If your lights are flickering, it’s better to err on the side of caution and call a qualified electrician to perform a home electrical inspection.
Whether you’re at home or work, cancelling out noise helps people get tasks done. But no matter how busy you might be, electrical humming noises are not something you want to ignore!
Some electrical noises are simply annoying, while others require immediate attention. One quick way to determine whether or not the noises are coming from your electrical system is by shutting off all your home’s circuit breakers. If you still hear the noises, then at least you know it’s not your electrical system. You can then try walking around your home and check every outlet, switch or light fixture.
Regardless of whether you can still hear the noise, however, don’t try to repair it yourself. The cause of an electrical noise is difficult to pinpoint, much less doing the actual repairs. You risk electrifying yourself or creating a fire risk. A professional will help you address the source quicker and safer.
Sometimes, when you unplug a device or appliance, you may see small sparks. This doesn’t always mean an underlying issue. Removing a plug from an outlet too quickly can be the cause. But if you notice this repeatedly happening in your home office, it might be time to call an electrician. A build up in heat within your outlets can cause sparks, which could easily become a fire.
Unless you just turned on your heater for the winter, you shouldn’t smell any smoky, burning odors within your home office. If you ever do catch this smell, it could mean there was a short circuit and you should contact an electrician immediately. Short circuits can happen in power cords, plugs or inside the appliances or devices. There are a variety of causes, but one of the most common is if an improper amount of electricity is passing through your power supply.
Consider purchasing short circuit protection such as surge protection outlets to protect your appliances. There’s nothing worse than losing something as expensive as a laptop to electrical issues that could’ve been avoided!
Interested in learning more about how to improve your home office’s electrical work? The neighborhood experts at Arnold Electrical would be glad to help. Whether you need your outlets replaced, have outdated electrical wiring, or would want a complete home electrical inspection, we are ready to meet your expectations!