Even if you feel competent enough to perform minor electrical fixes in your home, such as upgrading a wall switch or attaching a new overhead light, it's important to remember that even small jobs carry a danger. Failing to approach the project properly can result in a shock, while improper wiring can cause a fire. This means that whenever you're facing an electrical job about which you don't feel fully confident, it's important to find a licensed electrician who services your community. You can turn the issue over to this capable professional and breathe easy knowing that the job will be done correctly so there are no risks to your family. Here are three times that you should call residential electricians.

Rust Around Breaker Panel

It's beneficial to keep an eye on the condition of your breaker panel, especially if your home is old. Be especially vigilant about watching for rust. If you see rust beginning to coat the metal, it's a concerning sign. Rust is often indicative of an old breaker panel that could be beginning to fail. The added issue is that if the breaker panel is failing, the same might be true of the wiring in your home. It's best to get your electrician to inspect the problem right away. He or she will be able to perform the necessary repairs – or, in some cases, replace the entire panel – as well as inspect your home's wiring to keep everything safe.

Cords Under Rugs

You might think that placing a rug over a long electrical cord fixes the issue of having cords strewn around your home, but there's always a fire risk whenever you take this approach. If you're using long cords because you don't have enough outlets in your home, the answer to this dilemma is as simple as scheduling a visit from your local electrician. Upon talking to you about your household electrical needs, the electrician will be able to install additional outlets in your desired areas to help you avoid having to run long cords around your home.

Two-Pronged Outlets

If you live in an old home, there's a strong chance that some of your wall outlets will accommodate only two prongs. This means that modern-day electronics, which have plugs with three prongs, will not work. The concern here is that the lack of a third prong means that the circuit is ungrounded, which poses a shock risk. An electrician can tackle the problem by upgrading your outlets and wiring and making sure your breaker panel will support these upgrades.