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By Ron Balcar • April 25, 2017

Warning Signs of a Home Electrical Problem

Fire related homeowner’s claims are among the most expensive claims for insurance companies to resolve. Aside from the obvious loss of precious property, the damage can be far-reaching and can continue developing months after the incident. There can be significant water damage from putting out the fire; mold, smoke or odor mitigation of the interior of the house or of contents inside, and even trees and plants on the exterior of the house that may need to be replaced.

How can a homeowner and family avoid dealing with this devastating event? Help your clients be proactive in keeping a safe home by becoming acquainted with their home electrical system and knowing the warning signs it may be giving off that could eventually lead to a fire. Suggest to your clients that safety is a family priority and get the kids involved by training them to look out for these signs, especially if they live in an older home.

  • Two-prong ungrounded outlets throughout the house (these are ungrounded)
  • No ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in kitchens, baths, and other areas moisture-exposed areas
  • Lights that are dimming and/or flickering
  • Discolored or charred outlets
  • Sparking or warm outlets
  • A constant buzzing sound coming from anywhere along the electrical system
  • Breakers that trip or fuses that blow frequently
  • That tingling sensation, or a shock, when you touch an appliance
  • A burning smell coming from a room or appliance
  • Wire insulation that appears to be deteriorating 

If any of these issues are spotted it’s time for an update to the electrical system. If your client lives in an older home, as their risk manager you can recommend they have a certified electrician do a yearly inspection to ensure everything is running smoothly.

 Learn more about Personal Lines policies from Myron Steves, including homeowners and dwelling fire, at Myron Steves Personal Lines.