electrician fixing electricity boxLearning how to deal with the electrical setup of a home can be challenging for some people. To some extent, every homeowner should know the basics of it such as changing a light bulb or checking if an appliance works for 110v or 220v. But the rule of thumb for electrical repairs is if you don’t know how to fix it, call an electrician.

Rockwall Electric explains that if your home is 20 years old or older, and has never had any major electrical change, chances are there’s an area in your home that needs to be seen by a professional electrician. Don’t wait until your whole electrical system goes haywire. Take note of these four telltale signs that you need to call an electrician immediately.

If you smell something burning that’s not food

Every person would know the difference between burning in the kitchen and burning anywhere else in the house. If you notice a smell coming from a wall or an appliance that’s being used, turn off the appliance right away and call your electrician.

Sparking, buzzing, fluctuating lights, or hot outlets

These are all signs of severe damage to your electrical system that, if neglected, can easily turn into a fire. Flickering or buzzing lights, sparking of outlets and appliances or outlets that are hot to the touch all need immediate attention.

Damaged wires

Perhaps your pet nibbled on a wire, or it’s just a really old wire that’s damaged. No matter what caused it, it has to be replaced immediately. Open wires can also easily cause a fire if they rub against each other and get in contact with flammable material.

Circuit breakers that trip or turn off

When this happens, it means that the circuit breaker is overloaded and it turns off as a safety mechanism. Overloading can easily cause fires if neglected.

Neglecting to repair an already obvious electrical problem can be dangerous, as it can cause fires, explosions, or increase the chances of electrocution. Don’t put your household at risk. If you notice any of these, call a professional electrician right away.