Are you a homeowner? Do you know the signs, or at least some of the signs, that your house is suffering from electrical problems? Although some electrical issues may be obvious, others are less apparent. Ignoring any electrical issue could result in a variety of problems, potentially including electrical fires. This list isn't comprehensive but it should give you a good idea as to when you should seriously consider calling in a professional instead of ignoring matters and hoping that the situation resolves itself or goes away.
Leaks or flooding: When you have a leaky ceiling or get a flooded basement, your first thought is likely to look up local plumbers or roofers and not electrical contractors in your area. While calling in a plumber or a roofer can certainly solve the immediate problem, you may still have an issue. If there's any possibility that the water could have run along the electrical wires, the water could have caused corrosion or even a short. Turn off electricity to that section of your house and call in a professional electrician as soon as possible. It's always better to be safe rather than risking serious problems later.
Flickering lights: Having your lights flicker could be the result of multiple things, none of them good. It could be something like a serious short in the wiring or it could be something as relatively benign as plugging in one too many electrical devices. Regardless of what you think the cause might be, it's a good idea to have one of your local electrical contractors check things out as soon as possible. The longer you leave things without having anything repaired or replaced the more likely something serious, like an electrical fire, becomes. Be safe and get your flickering lights checked out, even if you think it's nothing to be concerned about.
Unidentifiable smells: An overloaded electrical circuit may heat up to the point that it starts to smell like hot or burning plastic. It may also simply have a vaguely identifiable "hot" smell. If you smell something strange that isn't an animal odor and that doesn't seem to be coming from any of your drains, chances are good that it may be coming from your wiring. Although it may seem funny to be contacting one of your local electrical contractors, such as from McDonald Electric, with the complaint that your house "smells funny" and you want them to check it out, waiting could have disastrous consequences if the wiring is overheated and does spark an electrical fire.