A house fire is one of a homeowner’s worst fears, and over 50,000 house fires occur each year due to electrical malfunctions. Many municipalities may only require an inspection when you are having work done during a renovation or addition, however, a responsible homeowner should be routinely checking their breaker panel or fuse box. It is important to have a professional electric company like Piper Electric come inspect your electrical wiring at least once every five years to ensure that there are no glaring errors.

Here are several other signs that your home may be at risk of house fire due to electrical malfunction:


Considering the fact that lights draw such a minimal amount of power, flickering in lights throughout your house is rarely the fault of the fixture itself. The issue could be a result of having other large energy draws like appliances or a generator attached to the same circuit. Do your lights flicker when your dishwasher starts a cycle? You may want to consult an electrician to address the situation.


Strange odors are common when first using a new appliance, however, if the smells persist when the item is in use, disconnect all items from the outlet and call Piper Electric. If there are odors coming from your fuse box or breaker panel, call us immediately.


During the holidays, it is common for homeowners to use extension cords to light up the inside and outside of your home. Having an “exposed” wiring system like extension cords leaves itself open to kinks, tangles, or tripping breakers. This can lead to damaging outlets and creating larger problems. Limit extension cord use, and ensure that cords are tucked away and only used for small periods of time.


It is normal for an appliance like a toaster to generate heat, however, an outlet should not also increase heat while the appliance is in use. If the outlet continues to increase heat, then either the outlet or the switch may be wired incorrectly and could lead to a fire. If you believe an outlet has an unusual amount of heat to it, consult Piper Electric and allow them to diagnose the root of the issue for you. And refrain from using that outlet until the problem is addressed!


Many people believe that electricity should “buzz,” however this is not the case. Electricity should flow silently through your system. If there is buzzing that means there is a jump in connection as the result of a damaged outlet, loose prongs or even frayed wires. If you hear buzzing from a certain outlet, remove all appliances and contact Piper to come to assess the situation.

Above all other items, sparking is a sure-fire sign of electrical malfunction and puts you at risk of a house fire. If an appliance is sparking, then it may be damaged and there could be no larger issue at hand. However, no risks should be taken with sparking electricity and the appliance should not be used if you suspect it is damaged.


If you believe that your house may have an electrical malfunction, do not delay in calling Piper Electric to come to address the issue and give you the peace of mind that you deserve. A quick call to a certified electrician can save you thousands in the long run and may even save your home all-together: (303) 422-9219