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SAFETY Signs That Your Home Needs Rewiring

Even the best-laid home wiring won't last forever. Over time, all electrical systems will weaken, natural wear and tear causing damage to your wiring. At best, faulty or worn-out wiring will lead to annoying issues with your lighting and electronics. At worst, however, wiring problems could cause a serious electrical fire. That's why it's important to get your home rewired when the time comes.

But how do you know when it's time? There are many signs to look out for, but it's easy to check for signs of worn wiring when you follow the simple SAFETY guide.

S is for: Smell of Burning

One of the most notable—and most worrying—signs of wiring problems in the home is a persistent smell of burning that isn't coming from an obvious source like your oven or fireplace. Unsurprisingly, the smell of burning can indicate a serious electrical fire risk. So, if you do smell burning and you think your electrical system may be to blame, turn off your home's power immediately and call an emergency electrician.

A is for: Aluminium Wiring

There's one sign that your home needs rewiring that may have been there all along: the letters 'AL' written on your cable jackets. 'AL' stands for 'aluminium', a type of metal that was once thought to be a safe home wiring option. However, since then, aluminium wire connections have been found to be more likely to suffer faults that lead to overheating and pose the risk of fire. Even if you don't see any of the other problems on this list in your home, you should get aluminium wiring replaced with copper as soon as you can.

F is for: Flickering Lights

There are many reasons why lightbulbs flicker. The most common is that you have a loose bulb; this is relatively harmless and can easily be fixed by screwing the bulb into the socket more tightly. Some types of lights, such as fluorescent and LED bulbs, are more prone to flickering, particularly if they're of low quality. However, there's one potential serious cause of flickering lights: loose wiring. If you've checked your bulbs and switches and can't find a problem for your flickering lights, you should call in an electrician to see if your home needs rewiring.

E is for: Electric Shocks

You should never ignore any of the warning signs on this list, but one you should pay attention to the closest is electric shocks. If you plug an appliance or gadget into your power socket and experience an electric shock—even a tiny one—call an emergency electrician immediately. This is a sure sign that you have a problem with your wiring, and one more electric shock to you or your family could be life-threatening.

T is for: Tripped Circuits

Often, faulty appliances like microwaves and toasters are to blame for tripped circuits and blown fuses. You can use a circuit breaker tester to assess your home appliances and see if they're causing the issue. But if they're not, the cause would be your electrical system wearing out. As wires age, they may not be able to handle the amount of electricity you use at home—especially with use of electrical devices increasing every year. That's why frequently tripped circuits and blown fuses are a sign your wiring needs replacing.

Y is for: Yellowing Outlets

Last, but not least, discoloured power outlets can be a serious sign that your wiring is in desperate need of replacement. Loose connections and wiring damage can cause overheating and sparking, causing the outside of the outlet to turn yellow or even black. Listen closely too, as you can sometimes hear the sizzling or popping sounds inside when plugging something into the socket. If left unrepaired, these sparks will eventually cause a fire.

To learn more, contact your local electricians