Home Electrical Safety Checklist
The electrical system in your home has many parts and components to be aware of to ensure a safe home all year long. Do you know what GFCI and AFCI outlets are? What is whole-house surge protection? As part of your spring cleaning, take some time to inspect your electrical system.
If you are like most people, you are probably aware of some basic electrical knowledge, such as knowing how to flip a breaker and that water and electricity don’t mix, but there’s also a lot you probably don’t know.
Every year, there hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars worth of damage caused by a lack of electrical safety knowledge. Electrical outlets/receptacles alone account for 5,300 home fires and over 40 deaths and 100 injuries every single year
Our home electrical safety checklist is meant to reduce these numbers and protect homeowners everywhere. In addition to doing your own DIY electrical safety check, make sure to schedule an electrical safety inspection with a professional. Your licensed electrician should inspect your home every year to make sure the electrical system meets the safety provisions provided in the National Electrical Code
Your professional electrical safety inspection will include checking your electrical panel, outlets and switches, wiring and circuits, GFCIs and AFCIs, outdoor circuits and HVAC wiring, and your smoke and CO detectors.
Electrical Safety Inspection: The Ultimate Guide to Passing
What’s the point of an electrical safety inspection anyway?
Having an electrical safety inspection done on your home might seem like a bother but try not to see it that way! Ensuring that the electrical safety inspection is conducted periodically and properly is extremely vital for your family and property.
Protect your property
Electrical surges are a common phenomenon in much of the United States. They can not only ruin your appliances but also create short circuits in your house, leading to fire that can cause severe property damage.
Someone could get hurt
Electrical wiring does not last forever. Due to wear and tear, it deteriorates along with its associated accessories. This deterioration can lead to nasty experiences such as electric shock or fire.
You have a legal duty
The law also mandates that you keep your house safe, especially where it concerns guests. Apart from this, many US states have local legislation that requires all homeowners to maintain certain electrical standards in their homes.
You could get sued
If a fire breaks out in your home and spreads to neighboring property or if there’s an electrical incident and someone gets hurt, you could find yourself paying far more in damages than you would have for a simple residential electrical inspection.
Electrical Safety Inspection Services
What Is an Electrical Home Inspection?
An electrical home inspection provides a thorough examination of your entire electrical system, ensuring all electrical wires, systems, and components (such as appliances) meet legal safety standards. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the code that all electricians operate under when examining your home, and defines the parameters for minimum standards across the United States. Upon completion of your electrical home inspection, a Mr. Electric® inspector will provide a detailed, prioritized checklist including areas in need of immediate attention, recommendations for improvements, and potential upgrade possibilities.
When Do You Need an Electrical Safety Inspection?
There are specific times when homeowners should schedule an electrical home safety inspection. The Electrical Safety Foundation recommends that homeowners make an appointment for an electrical home inspection at these times.
Benefits of an Electrical Safety Inspection
An electrical home inspection is important for the safety of your home and everyone in it. Getting your home’s electrical system checked by a professional will offer you peace of mind by
What Does an Electrical Home Safety Inspection Include?
Your local Mr. Electric knows just what to look for when it comes to residential electrical hazards. An electrical home inspection from Mr. Electric covers
Electrical Safety Checks Homeowners Should Do Every Year
Breaker Panel Inspection
Look over your main electrical panel and the area surrounding it. You should have three feet of clear space around the panel, and an easy-to-find, battery-operated light source available for when the power goes out. Next, open the panel door and examine the breakers. Do they show signs of rust or rodent activity? Flip the circuit breakers on and off, making sure that none of them are sticking or corroded, which could prevent them from operating correctly.
Any outlets likely to be exposed to a water source should be ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protected. That may be in the form of an individual outlet (as shown here), an outlet farther up on the same circuit, or by a GFCI breaker in the panel. Regardless of where the GFCI is on that circuit, you should be able to press the test button and ensure that all of the outlets affected are turned off and safe.
Test Your Outlets
One of the most useful tools for quickly checking outlet safety is a receptacle tester, often called a “cube” or “block” tester. This device simply plugs into an outlet and displays lights which indicate the most common outlet wiring issues. These tools are extremely affordable and widely available, and they deserve a place in every DIY toolbox. The block tester is only one of the very affordable electrical safety test devices that can help keep your home safe.
Visual Inspection of Exposed Wiring
If wiring runs are visible in a basement or attic, take the time to look them over and make sure they’re free of cracks, splits and rodent activity. Look for signs of chewing or nest building, and take any steps to repair damaged wires and eradicate the rodent activity.
Extension Cord Review
Extension cords are practically essential for DIYers, but they can also pose potential problems. Add them to your electrical safety checklist and examine extension cords for cuts, nicks and other damage that can easily occur during DIY and other seasonal projects. Also, make sure that any cords being used for power tools are within their amperage rating. If you do have a damaged extension cord, it’s usually fairly simple to make a repair. Here’s how.
Electrical Safety Inspection Tips For Fall
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While an electrician at Current Electric will make this an important part of an electrical safety inspection, you should also test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on your own time. After all, the chances of a fire or carbon monoxide exposure will skyrocket the instant detectors stop working. Conducting a test may reveal you will have to replace batteries for either before the season begins.
Be Careful of Electrical Lines
If you plan on doing some outdoor work this fall, you need to be cautious of the placement of electrical lines and wires across your landscape. If you are doing work requiring you to climb a ladder, be careful not to accidentally yank wiring loose. Even just making the wrong move can either bring damage to the wiring or result in electrocution.
Consider Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
GFCI outlets can immediately shut off electric power to reduce the risk of shock or fires. They are installed in areas of your home where water and electricity are likely to mix, like bathrooms, garages, or kitchens. This may be an important update to make this fall, as it can single-handedly keep your family away from any safety hazards.
Check Outlets & Switches
Since you rely on your outlets and switches many times a day, you need to make sure they are working at their best. If they feel hot to the touch or are resulting in frequently blowing fuses or circuits, you need to call an electrician at Current Electric immediately. Your outlets will need to be replaced if you have outdated two-prong or builder’s grade outlets.
Pay Attention to Your Lighting Wattage
Every lighting fixture in your home is rated by a specific wattage. However, you need to pay attention to wattage requirements. A lighting fixture with wattage over the requirement can cause an overload on your wiring and potentially result in a fire. There is also danger in having lighting fixtures that are under the requirement, as it can bring further stress to your home’s electrical system.