If you live in or are buying a home that is more than 30 years old, you need to inspect the wiring. If you find that it needs replacement, hire a licensed, bonded electrician to rewire your home to meet national electrical codes. Never attempt a rewiring job yourself unless you are extremely experienced with electrical systems.
Look for signs of an old installation, such as few outlets in each room. New code mandates that outlets be no more than 10 feet apart along a wall. Also, round or non-grounded outlets; or a wooden or mixed material fuse box are signs that your electrical system is more than 30 years old and should be inspected.
Inspect any electrical wiring that is visible or easily accessible in basements, attics or crawl spaces. If the wire looks old, worn, frayed or burned, it should probably be replaced.
Examine your outlets, sockets and plugs for signs of scorching or damage.
Feel the cords of your devices and appliances when they are in use. If the cords feel overly warm, then you may have an issue with the amount of current being delivered. Usually, this indicates that the house wiring is undersized. This may overheat or short out the device or appliance as well, especially if they are always plugged in or used frequently.
Pay attention to fuses which blow on a regular basis, shorts that occur frequently or power outages. These may be symptoms of extremely faulty electrical systems.
Note where and when you or family members receive any mild electrical shocks that are not caused by static electricity. If you receive a mild shock when plugging in or unplugging any electrical device or appliance, consult an electrician as soon as possible.