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Let’s not sugarcoat it – there’s no business without electricity. While some power outages are entirely out of your hands, others directly result from poorly maintained or faulty wiring. Of course, a power outage might be the least of your worries, as deficient or deteriorating wiring can also cause an electrical fire.

To avoid any of these unfortunate scenarios, regularly inspect and maintain your business’ wiring. Here are five telltale signs it might be time for an electrical checkup.

1. Flickering Lights
Flickering lights may only be fun during Halloween or Christmas. On other occasions, they indicate something might be wrong with the electrical wiring. One flickering light isn’t too concerning, as it usually points to a bad bulb or socket. But multiple flickering lights can only mean trouble, ranging from faulty wiring to an overloaded circuit.

2. Buzzing Sounds
Unlike plumbing, your electrical system should run silently. If it doesn’t, you have a problem on your hands. Listen for strange buzzing sounds coming from walls or outlets. If you hear them, it’s time to call an electrician.

3. Burning Odors
You can’t mistake electrical burning odors for anything else – they have quite a distinctive smell. If you (or your employees) detect a burning smell near outlets, switches, or panels, shut the power to the building immediately and call a professional electrician.

4. Tripped Circuit Breakers
Sure, the occasional circuit breaker trip is perfectly normal. But if these trips occur regularly, something is seriously wrong with your wiring. At best, you have an overloaded circuit. At worst, a complex wiring issue that threatens your entire electrical system.

5. Old Age
Your wiring doesn’t have to show any signs of deteriorating for you to replace it. If your business operates in a building constructed in the 1960s or 1970s, it likely has aluminum wiring. The problem with this wiring type is that it can heat up too fast and lead to electrical fires. The solution? Have it replaced with copper wiring.

Key Takeaways:

  • If circuit breakers within your company’s facility are constantly tripping, it could reflect a severe wiring issue that needs professional attention.
  • Although a bulb flickering once time may be due to something simple like the need for a replacement, constant flickering can indicate faulty wiring.
  • If you ever smell something that doesn’t resemble the traditional smell of something burning, it could be the smell of wires burning.

“Aluminum heats up faster than copper and can lead to electric fires.”

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