electrical outlet smoking and shooting out sparks
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5. Wiring

The Hazard:
Bad wires can short out and start a fire. Signs of trouble: frequent blown fuses, flickering lights, and a tingling sensation when you touch a wall switch or appliance.

How to avoid it:
Replace old circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters, which cut the electricity when they sense danger. Consider replacing wiring that's more than 40 years old.
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