Did you conduct your annual home wiring safety checks before 2020 ended?
If not, you can start the new year safe from possible electricity dangers by having a home electrical safety inspection.
Regular electrical safety checks are important to prevent property damages. The inspection is typically quick and easy.
You can inspect by yourself if you’ve got some electrical knowledge, but if not, you would have to leave it in the hands of a licensed electrician. Check out the 7 things you should check during a home safety inspection.
Electrical Safety Checklist: 7 Things To Observe During An Inspection
1. Electrical Panel Inspection
The electrical panel links the external and internal electrical wires of your household’s electrical system. During an inspection, check the following signs on your electrical panel:
- Corrosion or oxidation of wiring
- Insufficient clearance around the panel (with adherence to the 2008 National Electrical Code)
- Water leakage
- Pest damage
- Aluminum branch wiring
- Issues on the circuit breakers
- Overheated or burned components
2. GFCI and AFCI Testing
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) shut off power to the circuit immediately after detecting leakage to prevent burns, electric shock, and other damages.
On the other note, Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) protect the electrical system against arc faults and high-power electrical discharges.
Check if you’re following the NEC’s standard requiring households to have GFCIs in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and garages. AFCIs are also required in many parts of the home.
3. Testing of Outlets and Light Switches
Check for the following signs of electrical system issues in your outlets and light switches:
- Warmth or heat when touched
- Buzz or crackling sounds
- Not enough switches or outlets
- Any burning or odd smell
4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Check every smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home for any signs of malfunctions. Ideally, you have to install these detectors on every floor of your household to help you during electrical hazards.
5. Home Electrical Wiring Inspection
Heated outlets, electrical shocks, buzzing sounds… all of these can be a result of faulty wiring.
Check your wiring if there are any signs of cracks and pest damage. Ask an electrician to repair the damaged wires immediately and conduct a thorough pest control to avoid this problem again in the future.
6. Review of Extension Cords
As part of your home safety inspections, check for any signs of damage in your electrical cords such as exposed wires, cracks, frays, and heat.
Using too many extension cords is the cause of roughly 3,000 fires in the U.S. The ones running through your walls, ceilings, windows, and doors can be dangerous, too, since they can be pinched or tripped over.
If you have too many of them, it’s best to ask an electrician to install additional outlets, so you could refrain from using more cords.
7. Voltage Test
Observing the behavior of your home’s electrical devices is part of any electrical safety inspection. If you’ve got dimming or flickering lights, running a voltage test can determine the root cause of the issue.
Use a voltmeter or multimeter to measure the voltage and check the outlet’s power. The standard reading for 120-volt residential outlets is between 110-130 volts.
Make sure to ask your trusted electrician to diagnose the problem if the voltage reading exceeds the standard range!
Let the Expert Do the Electrical Safety Inspection
Conducting regular electrical safety inspections in your home gives you peace of mind and frees you from possible safety hazards and property damages.
Electrical systems are complicated and need careful attention. It’s always better to consult a professional electrician regarding your home’s electrical problems and maintenance.
Got any questions about this electrical safety checklist? Don’t hesitate to ask them out in the comments section below!
Jeff Brandlin is the founder of Assurance Electrical Services, LLC. He started in the electrical industry when he was 21 and had worked in several electrical firms before founding Assurance Electrical. Jeff is dedicated to providing the best quality service to his clients and always puts their needs first. Outside work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and children.