Switch & Outlet Safety Check | Super Blog

Switch & Outlet Safety Check

Time: 10 minutes

There are nearly 50,000 home electrical fires in the U.S. every year. This quick outlet and switch check uses all of your senses, and can help you detect a problem before it becomes a safety hazard. If you suspect a problem, it’s always best to have a licensed electrician perform an inspection and complete any necessary repairs.

What’s in it for you?

  • Safety
  • Fire prevention
  • Property damage prevention

If you notice a problem during your check-up, call us at 844-99-SUPER, and we’ll send a pro ASAP.


1. Feel for heat. Switches and outlets should never feel warm to the touch. Heat is usually caused by improper installation, excessive demand on an outlet, or by a wire that has deteriorated or become loose. This can be a serious fire hazard, and should be fixed ASAP.


2. Listen for clicking, buzzing, or sizzling. If you hear any noise when turning a switch on or off, or while unplugging something from your outlet, the contact points between the wires and the switch/outlet are likely dirty or corroded. You will need to replace the unit, and should avoid using it until it has been repaired.


3. Look for discoloration. Loose connections and faulty wiring can cause an arc fault, one of the leading causes of electrical fires. Small fires can cause the surface of the outlet to char or discolor. If you notice discoloration, call a pro immediately.

4. Make sure it's working. If a switch or outlet isn’t working, check your circuit breaker to see if any circuits have automatically switched off. Your circuit will switch off when it is overloaded or if there is a short circuit. This is often caused by too many appliances or devices being plugged into the same outlet or circuit, by frayed cords, or by loose connections. You can reset the breaker by pushing the switch all the way to the OFF position, and then back to the ON position. If you continue to experience problems, you should have a pro inspect your electrical system.


5. Be wary of burning smells. If you smell burning in your home without an apparent source, it could be coming from your electrical system. Check all of your switches and outlets to make sure the smell isn’t originating there. If it is, turn off your circuit breaker, call a pro immediately, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.


6. Treat yourself! Once all of your switches and outlets are in good, working order, enjoy a safer home and a little "piece" of mind (or pizza).

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